Nurses in the UK think 40% of their NHS staff alter waiting time figures in accident and emergency (A&E) departments to meet government targets, according to a new survey.

In the online survey by Nursing Times, 40% of nurses said their colleagues adjusted the arrival or discharge times of patients in A&E to meet the government’s four-hour target.

The survey follows the publication of official NHS data showing patients are rushed through A&E in the last ten minutes before the deadline is breached, according to The Daily Telegraph.

The survey, answered by nearly 1,000 hospital and community nurses, said one in ten hospital nurses have been asked to falsify figures.

Nurses said patients were moved out of A&E to corridors or observation areas and were admitted to mixed sex wards without being seen by a doctor to meet targets.