The multi-storey car park at Stevenage’s Lister Hospital is one of the most expensive hospital car parks in the UK, new data has revealed.

Lister has the fifth most expensive car park out of more than 350 hospitals in the country - charging £3.20 to park for up to one hour and £4.60 for up to two hours.

Hereford County Hospital tops the list compiled by Little Loans, charging £3.50 for one hour and £5 for two hours.

The East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, which runs Lister, says it doesn't seek to make a profit from parking at any of its hospital sites and that money made from car parks goes back into maintaining the parking facilities.

On the NHS Trust's website it says: "We believe NHS money should be spent on treating patients. If we do not charge for parking, money intended for patient care will have to be used to provide and maintain parking facilities on the site."

A spokesman for the NHS trust added: "Every year more and more people come to the Lister for treatment and care. As a result, we need more staff and the demand for car parking increases. We are looking to build a second multi-storey car park to meet the needs of our patients but our funding choices are limited.

"There is no easy solution and, regrettably, we can either spend less on patient services or charge for parking. We do not make a profit from car parking, but merely fund the service without cutting back on patient services.

"We appreciate that, for many, travelling by car is sometimes the only option. Therefore, we have concessionary car parking tickets available for people who are visiting long stay patients or who attend regular appointments - weekly £23.90, monthly £26.70 and quarterly £39.80."

In December, the government announced that from April all hospital trusts in England will be expected to provide free car parking to those disproportionately impacted by daily or hourly charges for parking, including outpatients attending regular appointments to manage long-term conditions.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "Across the country those with the greatest need - such as disabled people, parents staying overnight with sick children in hospital, and NHS staff working night shifts - will no longer have to pay for parking."