Sir Rod Stewart visits NHS hospital where he paid for patients’ scans

The 78-year-old singer-songwriter said he wanted to pay for treatments in Glasgow and Edinburgh too.

Sir Rod Stewart has visited his local NHS hospital where he paid for a day of scans for patients amid record-long waiting times.

The 78-year-old said he would do the same in Glasgow and Edinburgh if it was a “big success”.

He had phoned into Sky News in an unscheduled appearance about healthcare in January and promised to pay for the treatments.

Sir Rod turned up at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, Essex, in a white Rolls-Royce to “prove I’m not all mouth and trousers” on Friday.

The singer-songwriter had promised to pay for up to 20 scans to help people who were suffering after explaining how he had attended a private clinic that was basically “empty” and was prompted to call in to the show after hearing about the “ridiculous” situation in the NHS.

He told reporters that he backed pay rises for nurses and junior doctors and warned against bringing a US healthcare system to the UK.

But he said he wasn’t there “to talk about politics, please, because otherwise it overshadows what we’re trying to do”.

“If this is a big success, which I think it will be, I’d like to do it in Belfast, Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, and just keep it going, and hope some other people follow me,” he said.

“I had just come from my scan in a private clinic near Harley Street,” he recalled.

“I walked in and said, ‘I’m terribly sorry I’m half hour late’.

“They said, ‘don’t worry, there’s hardly anybody in here today’.

“There were eight people with hardly anything to do.

“Then I thought this is a terrible injustice, so here we are.

He added: “There must be enough money in the coffers to pay up for these nurses – only two years ago we were clapping and now…

“Bless them, they work so hard, salt of the earth.”

Stephanie Lawton, chief operating officer at the Princess Alexandra Hospital, said Sir Rod paid for a day of scans at the hospital which would help reduce their waiting list by around 10%, or around 20 patients.

“Rod’s a local resident, we’re his local hospital, we’re really delighted to be working with him and his team for the benefit of patients and doing everything we can to reduce the waiting lists,” she said.

Ms Lawton added: “It would be fantastic if he would continue to work with us.

“We’ve got a charity, he would be a massive supporter for the organisation. We would be delighted if he wanted to continue the links.”

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code