Rod Stewart visits patients on ward after paying for private scans: "If we don't have the NHS, we'll be like the United States"

Virgin Radio

24 Feb 2023, 17:02

Sir Rod Stewart visits patients on NHS ward and calls for nurses' wages to rise

Credit: Getty

Sir Rod Stewart has kept his promise and visited patients on an NHS ward after previously paying for private scans in order to help cut waiting lists — and urges people to follow suit. The generous star was called a 'dream come true' by patients at his local hospital, the Princess Alexandra in Harlow, Essex.

The rocker said he wanted to prove he wasn't 'all mouth and trousers' as he visited the hospital where he dished out money for the scans and said: "If we don't have the NHS, we'll be like the United States."

His donation covered a day of scans for patients which were carried out at private healthcare firm InHealth’s mobile MRI scanning unit set up on the hospital grounds.

Shaking hands with NHS staff and chatting to patients, the singer signed autographs for fans and explained why he was there.

He previously called in a live phone-in segment on Sky News and offered to pay for people to have hospital scans.

He said: “I had just come from my scan in a private clinic near Harley Street. 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.”

And he's not sticking to just Essex, either. The generous star said: “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.

“Because I want to prove I’m not all mouth and trousers and that’s why I’m here to prove that I followed through with it, ok folks.”

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.”

Credit: Twitter

On the state of the NHS, he said: “We’ve got to sort this out, really. We’re in dire straits. If I am going to get political, I think we should send the Ukrainians F-16s.

“It’s up to you, Prime Minister. I’ve been supporting them for years, Ukrainians.

“On stage I have the flag and I wear a blue and yellow suit and do a song and dedicate it to them.

Credit: Twitter

“I feel very strongly about it. If the Ukrainians lose it’s the end of civilisation as we know it, it’s all over.”

Stephanie Lawton, chief operating officer at the Princess Alexandra Hospital, said Sir Rod had helped reduce their waiting list by 10%, or 20 patients.

She praised: “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.

"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.”

Bravo, Sir Rod.