At my local Hospital they operate this system, you pull up at a barrier and collect a ticket from the machine. It does not tell you or the others behind if the car park is full, if it is then you have to take the ticket to another machine to pay (or not pay if under 20mins) and dont forget there is nowhere to park other than in everyones way. before you can get out again. Marvelous why not a simple in/out counter.
People that have an appointment time should really get someone to drop them and collect them, a relative or a taxi. Of course not everyone can afford a taxi but there is in this area excellent public transport to the hospital. Like most people I drive there for the simplest thing like a blood test which is why it's always full. Selfish I know but human nature.
I live near a hospital and years ago everybody parked in the grounds to go to work in the nearby city centre. Nobody visiting the hospital during the day could park there.
Hospitals have limited parking capacity and it has to be controlled, which requires enforcement. To carry out enforcement you need staff and to pay the staff you need income. Far better to gain that income from parking charges than from the hospitals own capital that is far, far better used for the hospital and it's patients.
The companies carrying out the enforcement do so under very stringent contracts laid down by the hospitals and it is no good blaming them.
What is needed, maybe, is that if there are truly extenuating circumstances then the hospital can issue a free parking voucher, as they do at my local hospital, or they can deal more sympathetically with appeals that arise.
Parking control, wherever it is applied, brings out the worst in people, both drivers and enforcers, and in my opinion is a thankless, but never the less, necessary evil.
I have no connection with either hospitals or parking enforcement;-)
Sexism comes in as well, my daughter who usually takes me is very attractive I am told. "Can I help I'll find you a space luv seen you driving round 3 times" I could drive round a hundred times before anyone helped me. On two occasions she was taken to places where you definatly cant park "Dont worry luv you will be OK here I'll see to it"
Another example, her car exhaust fell apart just by an tyre and exhaust depot by pure chance. They welded it back together and when she asked for the bill they said "Give us a tenner next time you are passing by" She paid the guy there and then but I wonder what response I would have got.
Parking at our Hospital is impossible. Fortunately there are a number buses that go there from the city centre. They also run a shuttle bus from the nearest Park & Ride which is free to Bus pass holders and costs £1 return for everyone else. They also have a staff scheme so that they can use the P&R. Unfortunately the P&R finishes at 6pm and doesn't run on weekends, but then its usually possible to find a space.
I realise its not possible for some people use the buses but if more people who can would use them it would ease the parking.