The number of people visiting A&E in England has jumped by more than one-fifth in ten years, official figures show.

According to data from NHS Digital, there were 23.8 million attendances to A&E departments in the country during 2017-18, marking an increase of 2% over 2016-17 and 22% since 2008/09.

NHS Digital’s Hospital Accident and Emergency Activity 2017/18 report, created in partnership with NHS England, shows that the average growth per year over the period since 2008-09 is 2%, overshooting England’s average population growth of 1% per year over a similar period.

Again highlighting the wealth divide, there were around twice as many A&E attendances (3.0 million) for the 10% of the population living in the most deprived areas, compared with the least deprived 10% (1.4 million attendances).

The report also showed that England had the second highest reported A&E attendance rate amongst the home nations, with 27,639 attendances per 100,000 population. Northern Ireland recorded the highest number with 34,820 attendances per 100,000 population.

Just days ago the Department of Health announced an emergency cash injection of £145 million to upgrade A&E departments and increase bed numbers, to give the service a stronger footing when coping with winter pressures.