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Legacy of Alfred Staden lives on at Northampton General Hospital

MR1423 Chandran Tanabalan Mr Thomas Swallow Clin Ld Uro Mrs Hope Staden and Sally Mora urolo CNS

The widow of a man who gave £560,000 in donations to the urology department at Northampton General Hospital returned to the hospital this month to meet some of the team he supported.

Hope Staden, 82, from Great Billing, the widow of Alfred Staden, visited the hospital on August 17 and met members of the hospital’s urology team at a community event held to showcase a new surgical robot used in urology cancer treatments.

Mr Staden, a successful inventor of machines used in the manufacture of shoes, made his donations to the hospital between 2012 and 2019. £240,000 of his donations were in legacy after his death in 2016.

Mrs Staden chatted with staff, had a go on a demonstration model of the surgical robot, and learned how her husband’s donation had been used over the years to support patients with urology issues.

She said: “Fred had bladder cancer and he was very grateful to his consultant, Mr Roger Kunkler, for the treatments he received which he saw as saving, and significantly extending, his life.

“He wanted to give something back to the hospital and always meant to leave something in his Will. In the end though he decided to make most of his donations during his lifetime so that he could see the results.”

Mr Staden was treated twice for bladder cancer in the early 2000s. He died in 2016 aged 93.

His donations have included:

  • Paying for the creation of the Alfred Staden Urology Centre – an extension to the hospital’s existing small facilities – with four treatment rooms, improvements to a procedure room, a reception area and new equipment between 2012 and 2014
  • A high-tech adjustable operating table for use alongside the new surgical robot at NGH
  • A specialised surgical air system used in the abdominal cavity when performing surgery - used alongside the surgical robot

Urology Clinical Nurse Specialist Sally Mora has seen all of the improvements made as a result of Mr Staden’s donations.

She said: “Before Mr Staden’s donations our urology department had some pretty tired rooms and was very small. Thanks to Fred’s generosity it has been totally transformed.

“It is used every day with both nurse and doctor-led clinics. It has helped us put our urology services all under one roof – it has created a ‘one-stop shop’ for many thousands of patients and has greatly improved their experience of our care.”

NGH’s Medical Director, Mr Hemant Nemade, who is also a consultant urologist, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr Staden’s family for the immense contribution Fred Staden made to our urology service.

“His very kind donations helped us to significantly develop and improve the urology service and the experience we offer to the thousands of patients we see each year.”

In 2014 Mr Staden visited the hospital, aged 91, to see how his donations had led to the creation of a much-needed extension to the hospital’s urology department.

At the 2014 event he said: “As my company made most of its money from the shoe trade it seemed only right to benefit the people of Northamptonshire. I am glad I have lived long enough to see this open. I am delighted such a small thing on my part has made such a dramatic difference.” 

Jonathan McGee, Chief Executive of Northamptonshire Health Charity, said, “We are extremely grateful for the generous gifts from Mr Staden which have helped improve the urology department.

“It is through gifts like these that we can help patients and staff, above and beyond what the NHS is able to fund. Every donation, no matter the amount, makes a huge difference.”

Mr Staden was founder, and for many years Chief Executive, of Process Equipment Developments (PED) Technologies Ltd of Wellingborough.

Founded in 1973 PED Technologies achieved sales in over 40 countries and in 1993 won the Queen’s Award for Exports.

Posted on Friday 25th August 2023
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