Sir Rod Stewart has called in to a live Sky News phone-in offering to donate money for medical scans after hearing stories from people about treatment ordeals on the NHS.
The singer said it was “ridiculous” that people were having to wait long periods to get essential scans and treatment.
The 78-year-old told Sky News: “I personally have been a Tory for a long time but I think this government should stand down now and give the Labour Party a go, this is heartbreaking.
“In all my years in this country I’ve never seen it so bad… change the bloody government.”
Sunak ‘should pack overnight bag and see what’s happening in hospitals’: Viewers share NHS crisis stories
Sir Rod said he would like to donate enough money to pay for “10 or 20 scans” after recounting his experience of an “empty” private scanning clinic where he went for an annual check-up.
“There are people dying because they cannot get scans,” Sir Rod said.
“I don’t need the publicity, I just want to do some good things and this I think is a good thing. If other people follow me I would love that.”
He also came out in support of nurses taking strike action over pay, saying the NHS needs to be “rebuilt with billions and billions” to overcome the crisis. “I’m on your side,” he said.
In 2019 the singer revealed he had secretly been fighting prostate cancer for three years but was “in the clear now, simply because I caught it early”.
Image: Rod Stewart performs at the Raise the Roof fundraiser for Prostate Cancer UK in June Read more:
Where – and why – there are long A&E waits
How many spare beds does your hospital have?
Children at growing risk from deadly disease
The NHS’s biggest moments in pictures
Victoria, who told how her father died earlier this month after picking up COVID and pneumonia in hospital, was among a string of callers who contacted the Sky News phone-in about the scale of the NHS crisis. Her father had been waiting five months to be discharged.
Another woman who called in said she had been on a waiting list for an appointment for three years.
“I’m losing the will to live,” she told Sky News’ Sarah-Jane Mee, adding: “I don’t know what to do, and what worries me is that the situation for me and others could get worse.”
Not all callers had negative experiences. One person rang in to say she had been happy with her treatment when she needed major surgery – but she did blame the government for failing to fund the health service, saying “the nurses worked their guts out”.
Carole, from Sheffield, also shared a positive story about how her father fell on ice last week and broke his leg. The 90-year-old was picked up by an ambulance and treated in five-and-a-half hours.
“All of his treatment has been absolutely brilliant, it has all gone really swimmingly and all the nurses have been fabulous,” she added.