Overhaul of NGH urology department paid for by ex-shoe boss

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The urology department at Northampton General Hospital has been refurbished, extended, and supplied with new equipment thanks to the generosity of an ex-shoe company boss, who is a former patient.

Alfred Staden, aged 91, an inventor who has designed shoe manufacturing equipment which is used by companies such as Nike and Reebok, has paid for the development of three new treatment rooms, a reception area and new equipment for the department.

Although Mr Staden chooses not to reveal the size of his donations, NGH said they add up to one of the largest ever amounts received by the hospital from one donor.

At the official opening of the Alfred Staden Urology Centre, consultant urologist Roger Kunkler thanked Mr Staden on behalf of all the local people who will use it.

Mr Kunkler said: “We were able to refurbish the centre and construct a new reception area and treatment room in 2012, and then extend with two further treatment rooms and equipment last year thanks to Mr Staden’s continued generosity. It will make a huge difference to patients for many years to come”.

Mr Staden founded his company Process Equipment Developments in 1973, designing heating products for the local shoe industry, with just £700. PED became a multi-million pound company achieving sales in over 40 countries, and in 1993 won the Queen’s Award for Exports.

He chose to help the department after undergoing a successful operation for bladder cancer.

Mr Staden said: “I have been given an extra 13 years of life as a result of the skill of Mr Kunkler and the staff here. I was planning to leave the department some money in my will but as I get older I decided I wanted to give it now to ensure I would be able to see what was done.

“On behalf of my wife Hope and myself I would like to say that the pleasure is entirely ours, and being able to do this is something of which I’m particularly proud.

“Because my company made most of its money from the shoe trade, it seemed only right that I should do something to benefit the people of Northampton. “I’m glad I have lived long enough to see this opened. I am delighted such a small thing on my part has made such a dramatic difference.”