Court ruling suggests LHBs could fund wider range of services

Three users of Cardiff welfare benefits advice project, Riverside Advice, have successfully challenged the withdrawal of the project’s funding by Cardiff Local Health Board in the Court of Appeal. The case has potentially widespread implications for the voluntary sector, establishing that health bodies could fund a wide range of services, rather than the narrow range of services specified in the 1977 NHS Act.

The Riverside Advice project represents in the region of 80 to 100 people per year who suffer mental health difficulties and need assistance and specialist advice in relation to their benefits claims and appeals. It recently had its funding withdrawn by Cardiff Local Health Board when the Board considered that it did not have the power under the National Health Service Act 1977 to fund such a project.

However, earlier this month the Court of Appeal judged in the project’s favour, meaning that the project will now receive three years’ further funding. The Court found that the definitions of ‘services’ and ‘facilities’ should be given a broad interpretation and that on this basis it was lawful for the LHB to fund the advice project.

For more information on the Riverside Advice project go to: