Southend, Basildon and Broomfield hospitals are among the most expensive hospital car parks in the country according to the data collected by the Press Association.

Freedom of Information data shows that hospitals in England are making more money than ever from charging visitors, staff and patients.

Some 124 NHS trusts responded to the Press Association request for data on parking charges.

Of these, 53 (43 per cent) said they had increased prices in the last year for visitors or staff, or both.

Meanwhile, 71 (57 per cent) said they had not put up their prices.

Labour has pledged to abolish the costs while the Patients Association said people should not be "charged for being ill".

In some regions, prices have risen sharply, with trusts doubling the cost for some lengths of stay.

Hospitals in south and mid Essex remain some of the most expensive hospital car parks in the country.

Southend hospital charges £3.10 for a one-hour stay while Basildon and Broomfield charge £3 for a one-hour stay.

While NHS trusts in England continue to charge patients, visitors and staff for parking, hospital parking in Scotland and Wales remains largely free.

Here is a list of the most expensive trusts in England for a stay of one hour:

- Royal Surrey County Hospital, Guildford GBP4

- Hereford County Hospital - £3.50

- North Bristol NHS Trust - £3.50

- Bristol Royal Infirmary - £3.40

- Frimley Health - £3.40

- Northampton General - £3.20

- St Thomas' Hospital, London - £3.20

- Southend Hospital - £3.10

- Royal Free, London - £3

- Epsom and St Helier - £3

- Airedale - £3

- Basildon Hospital - £3

- Whittington Hospital, London (after 5pm) - £3

- Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, London - £3

- Aintree University Hospital - £3

- Luton and Dunstable - £3

- Mid Cheshire Hospitals - £3

- Mid Essex - £3

- St James's, Leeds - £2.90.