A Birmingham hospital yesterday defended its car parking policy after it was revealed it raised £1.5 million from charges.
Figures from the Department of Health showed 12 hospital trusts raised more than £1m but suggested University Hospital Birmingham received £1.5 m from 2004-05 fees.
A University Hospital trust spokeswoman defended the revenue and said it was a result of more than 550,000 people using two sites.
She added £1 million of the funds were used to maintain the car parks and run a shuttle bus service from the train station, while the remainder was used in patient care.
Among other hospitals to break the £1 m barrier were the Cambridge University NHS Foundation Trust, which serves Addenbrooke's, Basil-don and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust and Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust.
The statistics were obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.
A Department of Health spokeswoman said charges helped discourage misuse of hospital spaces. She said most hospitals have exemptions from charges for patients and hospital staff are "well-trained" in telling patients about them.
Many patients are eligible for free transport under the hospital travel costs scheme for patients on low incomes, she said, or patients' transport services for patients requiring transport on the basis of medical assessment.
She said: "Ultimately, it is a matter for individual NHS trusts to decide whether or not to charge for car parking and the level of charges."
Macmillan Cancer Relief has called for the end to hospital parking charges which it says preys on the vulnerable.
Peter Cardy, chief executive, said: "Raising revenue by forcing cancer patients to pay for hospital car parking is morally wrong. It is shameful the sickest and most vulnerable people pay most.
"Hospital car parking costs are often the final straw in a long line of extra costs faced by cancer patients. At a time of reduced income and lack of financial support, cancer patients can make as many as 60 trips to hospital to receive life-saving treatment."
Michael Summers, chairman of the Patients Association, said: "We take the view this is exploitation of patients who are very vulnerable."