Sir Rod Stewart has revealed he has been unable to pay for medical procedures for members of the public as healthcare organizations have yet to take up the offer.
In February, the singer-songwriter appeared in a mobile MRI scanning unit outside his local hospital, Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, Essex, after paying for a day of scans.
Sir Rod provided an undisclosed sum of money to the NHS Trust in February which enabled a specialist mobile MRI unit to be hired for one day to supplement the hospital’s existing capacity and complete at least 20 further scans.
However, he has now revealed that he’s been trying to do a similar thing in other parts of the country, but is left frustrated that no one else has taken up his offer.
Sir Rod has entrenched himself in the deepening NHS crisis following a surprise phone call in Sky News where he first expressed his desire for some procedures to be funded after his own scan.
“I said when I did Sky TV that I wanted to try and do them all over the country. I’m not going to have my picture taken, I just wanted to,” she said.
“It’s like banging your head against a brick wall. I can’t get any answer.
“People are clamoring for MRIs, I’m willing to pay for them, 30 or 40 in a few hours, and I can’t get anyone to do it for me.”
In an interview with the PA news agency, he also reiterated his desire to fund extra procedures without gaining public recognition for his philanthropy.
“I want to continue. I don’t want it to sound like a publicity stunt,” said Sir Rod, who is touring this summer with Boy George and Culture Club as his support band.
In February Sir Rod toured the mobile MRI van at NHS Essex hospital in his white Rolls-Royce and posed for photos with surprised staff and patients.
“I didn’t have an album out or anything… I wanted people to know I was doing it, but now I want it to go on and on and I’m not getting any response,” he added. .
Stephanie Lawton, PAHT’s chief operating officer, said in February: “It has been fantastic to work with Sir Rod and we are grateful for his donation and support.
“Today we were able to scan between 20 and 25 more patients, which will help reduce our waiting list by 10% and move those patients to the next stage of diagnosis and treatment.
“A huge thank you to Sir Rod and we would be delighted to work with him again in the future.”
Sir Rod also called NHS staff “absolutely right” to go on strike amid ongoing strikes by junior doctors and nurses.
“I’m fine on their side. I was absolutely with them, they come first,” she said.
Speaking of Boy George, whose real name is George O’Dowd, Sir Rod told the PA: ‘Let’s go back in time, we had a lot of fun together. I can’t wait to be with him. He’s a lovely guy and I know he loves me too, it’s love all the way.
The tour kicks off at Plymouth’s Home Park Stadium on 24 June before heading to Northampton’s Cinch Stadium and Bristol’s Badminton Estate, hosting a live event for the first time.
The summer UK dates, part of Sir Rod’s Global Hits Tour, will culminate in two shows at Edinburgh Castle on 6 and 7 July, which is Sir Rod’s first performance at the historic site for 13 years.