A group of mental health workers launched a High Court bid to
stop an organisation’s funding from being cut on the grounds
that it provides social care rather than health care this week,
writes Amy Taylor.
Cardiff Local Health Board say that they are legally required to
stop giving Riverside Advice, an organisation that helps mentally
ill people in the city organise their lives and claim benefits,
money from their health budget.
It argues that the service falls outside the remit of health
care and instead counts as social care. It says the service would
not have been funded in the first place if it had not been for a
“misinterpretation” of the regulations.
But Michael Fordham, representing the three workers, told
Justice Moses, sitting at London’s High Court that the vital
nature of the advice and help that Riverside Advice provides meant
that it should be seen as a health care service.
“There’s a close nexus between the project and the
protection and promotion of mental health,” he said.
“The added stress and pressure of losing benefits and income
and months of uncertainty can lead to a degeneration in mental
health and they need expert help.”
The judge reserved his decision on the case and will give his
ruling later this week.