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Sue Doughty: I have listened with great interest to the Minister's figures. While I naturally welcome the increases, does she believe that they are adequate to cover the shortfall and the problems that I described? An

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increase of far more than 6 per cent. is required to deal with delayed discharges, the rise in their number and the problems that we in Surrey face.

Jacqui Smith: I have a relatively short time left, but it is no surprise that a Liberal Democrat Member should argue that a doubling of the annual real-terms increase in social services spending is still not enough.

The new cash includes resources to cover the cost of hospital beds that are blocked needlessly as a result of delayed discharges. Councils will need to use the extra resources to expand care at home and ensure that all older

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people are able to leave hospital once their treatment is completed and it is safe for them to do so. We will introduce stronger incentives to ensure that people do not have to wait so long to be discharged. Older people and other service users have the right to expect that local services work together as a coherent whole, as the hon. Lady outlined. We are moving in the right direction to a seamless service which, with the extra resources made available by the Government, ensures that people get the right care at the right time and in the right place.

Question put and agreed to.

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