The number of people attending accident and emergency departments increased by two percent in 2017/18 compared with the year before, and has risen by 22 percent over the last 10 years, official figures show.

The statistics show the average growth per year over the period since 2008/09 was two percent, compared with the England population average growth of 1 percent per year over a similar period.

There were around twice as many A&E attendances - three million - for the 10 percent of the population living in the most deprived areas compared with the least deprived 10 percent, at 1.4 million.

NHS Digital's report - Hospital Accident and Emergency Activity 2017/18, created in partnership with NHS England - shows Monday is the busiest day of the week for A&E departments, and the most popular time of arrival is between 10am and midday.

Patients arriving from 8am to 10am generally spend the shortest times in A&E, with 17 percent of patients arriving between 8am and 8.59am waiting an hour or less.

The figures show 90 percent of arrivals between 9am and 9.59am spend four hours or less waiting.

The number of re-attendances to A&E within seven days was 1.8 million and accounted for 8.6 percent of reported attendances.

Saturday and Sunday have the highest proportion of re-attendances within seven days, with Saturday the highest at 9.1 percent.

There were 23.8 million attendances at A&E departments in England during 2017/18.

Looking at all arrival times, 1.6 percent (333,000) of attendances spent more than 12 hours in A&E, compared with 1.3 percent (262,000) in 2016/17.

The report includes attendances from all types of A&E departments ranging from major departments, single specialty, consultant-led emergency departments, minor injury units and walk-in centres.