And the fact that (unsurprisingly) they're extortionate?
It's no shock or surprise to me; as soon as our local hospital did it I just thought it was an obvious consequence of them getting their own budget under the 'market forces' which were introduced years ago.
For every action there's an equal and opposite reaction.
Subsequently, if you're not going to give the NHS enough money through national insurance or income tax, then they're going to get it from somewhere else.
They still need the money.
People are under the illusion that because income tax hasn't gone up for a while, that somehow magically services are getting cheaper to run.
But of course they're not.
Parking charges are just one way of raising money to plug the gap between what they have and what they need.
The Queens Medical Centre in Nottingham used to have a lovely, large open seating area when you walked in to the reception area on the 1st floor.
Plenty of room, plenty of seats.
That was the first thing to go once they got their own budget and started to pretend to be a 'business'.
Now it's a pizza shop and newsagents.
As a public service and so by definition not for profit, you got a seating area. But, as a 'business' looking to earn money, they were never going to keep a free for all seating area when they could rent the space out to commercial companies.
Before it gets in the news that local councils are charging for all sorts of things they never used to and extortionate charges they may be, let me get there first and tell you they're already doing it.
They too see their budget from central government not only stay the same, but reduce.
So they too have to plug the gap.
Why do you think they charge for virtually everything they possibly can now?
And why do you think they fine you for everything they possibly can?
And why do you think they increase the level of charges and fines as much as they possibly can, at every possible opportunity they get?
At one time local councils would do just about anything; now they don't want to do anything.
Like I said at the beginning, what's all the fuss about; there is no fuss if you understand why it's happening.
You can have free car parking at hospitals, but you need to get rid of 'market forces' in the NHS, stop giving hospitals their own budgets and fund them properly through National Insurance and income tax.