Information for Health Professionals

Information about our current services and how to access them is contained within this section of the website. Please visit this page regularly as the level of service offered fluctuates to reflect volunteer specialist availability.

Healing Hands – Health Professionals, March 2017

Healing Hands – Health Professionals, November 2016


Patient criteria

Any patient you refer must meet our criteria and the patient referral declaration form is your guide to determining eligibility. The patient must meet both clinical and financial requirements of the Trust.  If your patient fits our criteria then we would be pleased to offer them FREE treatment at our facility.

Documents required for referral are:

  • Referral and declaration form.
  • A written detailed referral letter including full medical history. Both essential
  • Decline letter from DHB
  • A completed Christchurch public hospital endoscopy referral score sheet (for Endoscopy)
  • A completed Christchurch public hospital ophthalmology referral score sheet (for Cataract referrals)

Our services operate on the basis of goodwill and the flexibility of volunteer staff. It is expected that referrers work with the trust to provide the best outcomes for our patients. Canterbury Charity Hospital is a day care charitable facility; we do not have overnight care facilities on site.

The services we provide fluctuate from time to time dependant on the numbers of volunteer staff available at that time. We are closed over the Christmas holiday period, weekends and public holidays.

Referral Forms

General Referral Form
Dental Referral Form

Our current services (subject to change) are:

General Surgery

Most hernia types, pilonidal disease, haemorroids, anal fissure etc.


Symptomatic and screening

1. Symptomatic Patients
Unexplained overt rectal bleeding for six weeks or more AND/OR scores 14 or more points on the CPH colonoscopy diagnostic request form.
Note: Occult blood and faecal culture for microbes and parasites and calcoprectin results are required with the referral.

2. Referrals for CRC Screening
Category Two Patients as follows:
One first-degree relative with CRC diagnosed before age 55 years, or two first-degree relatives with CRC diagnosed at any age. Recommendation is colonoscopy every five years from age 50 years (or from an age 10 years before earliest age at which CRC was diagnosed in the family, whichever is earlier).

3. Referrals for Post-CRC Surveillance
Currently surveillance for patients with a personal history of CRC is ceased once the patient is aged 75 years – we will see such patients as long as they strictly meet our criteria for day surgery management, and are able to safely take the bowel preparation at home (ASA2 only).

Note: The Canterbury Charity Hospital is unable to offer a diagnostic service for the investigation of abdominal pain and diarrhoea.

Gynaecology, women's health and family planning

We offer Tubal ligation, Essure (fallopian coil), Mirena, Gynaecology procedures and investigative laparoscopy for endometriosis. 

Dental service

Free dental services are provided predominantly by members of the Canterbury branch of the New Zealand Dental Association. Services are offered to patients from 18 to 65 years of age. A one off/non-emergency course of treatment can be provided for WINZ clients. Dental patients MUST be referred by a dentist.

Please note that our dental and oral surgery services are different from one another. Rules that apply to one do not always apply to the other.

The following dental services are provided:

  • Examinations and radiographs
  • Extractions
  • Direct restorations: Behind the canines, provision of single or multi-surface restorations using amalgam and glass ionomer only. And the front six teeth (3 to 3), single or multi-surface restorations.
  • Scale/prophylaxis
  • Preventative care/advice
  • Endodontics 13, 12, 11, 21, 22, 23, 41, 42, 43, 31, 32, 33 only

The Canterbury Charity Hospital is unable to provide crowns or implants. General dentistry is offered with local anaesthesia.

Oral Surgery

 We offer wisdom teeth extraction, total clearances and complex extractions under general anaesthetic or sedation to patients who meet the Trust’s financial and clinical criteria. All referrals in this group aged from 18 years upwards will be considered.

Orthopaedic surgery - hand and upper limb

 Carpal tunnel decompression, dupytrens contracture, trigger finger, bursa, minor shoulder 

Eye surgery

 Cataract surgery for cases that are slightly below score the Canterbury DHB threshold or those experiencing significant daily problems can be considered for treatment.

Counselling services

 Counselling is available for most age groups with conditions related to anxiety/depression, grief, ADHD, family therapy, group support, child behavioural issues, anger management.

We don’t see cases related to drugs and alcohol (in isolation), psychosis, chronic personality disorder, people who commit crime with mental health issues, patents with known suicidal intent.

Vascular Surgery

 Various methods of treatment are offered. These include stripping, ties and avulsions and Ultrasonic guided thermal ablation. It is essential that you score your referral for severity and disability as per the chart on the DHB health pathways. 


Open evenings for GPs and other health professionals

If your group would like to attend one of these evenings, please email us at

Anaesthetic Guidelines:

Patient selection is important. Volunteer anaesthetists have agreed that we will offer surgical treatment to patients in ASA Classes 1&2 only.

ASA stands for American Society of Anaesthesiologists. New Zealand Anaesthetists have adopted the ASA system for classifying the pre-operative physical status of patients. Below is the classification, with definitions (often abbreviated as ASA1, ASA2, etc):

Class 1 Healthy patient, no medical problems
Class 2 Mild systemic disease
Class 3 Severe systemic disease, but not incapacitating
Class 4 Severe systemic disease that is a constant threat to life
Class 5 Moribund, not expected to live 24 hours irrespective of operation