Appeal Court finds for advice charity

An advice centre has won a legal battle in a case that put local
government funding to UK-based advice charities under threat.

The Appeal Court overturned a previous ruling that Cardiff Local
Health Board was entitled to axe funding to Riverside Advice, a
small Cardiff-based charity providing welfare benefits advice to
the mentally ill and vulnerable.

The board had convinced the High Court that it was not obliged to
fund the charity, the only one of its kind in the city, as it was
providing social care rather than health care.

The earlier ruling had caused consternation among charities with an
advice service and the Department of Health, which backed Riverside
Advice’s appeal after deciding that the ruling would hamper the
delivery of services designed to prevent illness.

Lord Justice Brooke criticised the board for maintaining its stance
on the funding despite criticism from bodies with “immense
knowledge” of how the health service works.

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