England’s accident and emergency departments are understaffed on average by nearly 10%, a survey has suggested.

The 101 out of 166 hospital trusts which responded to a BBC 5 live Freedom of Information request had 1,260 vacant posts.

The picture was worst in London, with the largest proportion of vacancies found in four trusts in the capital.

The Department of Health said A&E staffing was an ongoing problem, but action was being taken.

A&E services came under extreme pressure last winter and the government’s four-hour waiting time target was regularly breached.

This was partly as a result of more patients coming through the door, but also because of problems recruiting staff.