Eastbourne MP Nigel Waterson has attacked the Government's recent injection of extra cash for the NHS saying it has come too late to ease a hospital's winter bed crisis.

Mr Waterson said a grant of £681,000 to Eastbourne Hospitals NHS Trust from East Sussex, Brighton and Hove Health Authority was "too little, too late".

The money is to help with the problem of beds being blocked by elderly patients who are not able to receive care from social services because of the strain on resources.

Mr Waterson said: "I naturally welcome the announcement of extra money to tackle bed blocking but the Government is simply trying to get itsself out of a short-term problem.

"The amount of £681,000 is less than the local authority requested.

"It will only help those who are currently in hospital or who may be admitted in the near future.

"Above all, it does not begin to deal with the hundreds of other social services clients who are being denied the care to which they are entitled."

The Conservative MP is calling for steps to be taken to stop the same situation arising next year.

The extra funding is expected to clear the 88 blocked beds, out of 580, at Eastbourne District General Hospital until March next year.

An additional £850,000 is then promised to continue the ease the pressure on crowded wards.

Social services staff are responsible for assessing elderly patients before they are discharged from hospital but a lack of funds and vacant posts has hit the service.