NZ Army Band to perform at fundraising Gala

NZ Army Band to perform at fundraising Gala

The NZ Army Band takes top billing at this year’s Charity Hospital fundraising event performing at an evening already jam-packed with exciting entertainment, a live auction and delicious plated dinner.

The Charity Hospital Gala is being held on Friday 30 November at the fabulous Wigram Air Force Museum with tickets available for a limited time for $1600 for a table of 10 guests.

The Gala helps to raise the $880,000 we need to continue to provide our free medical, surgical, dentistry and counselling services to Cantabrians in need.

The Charity Hospital’s annual fundraising event has a reputation for being a fun-filled night out attracting people from all walks of life and, with everything laid on, as a no-fuss stress-free Christmas function for colleagues, clients or staff.

To purchase tickets please visit our Shop Page.

Charity Hospital wins Community of the Year award

Charity Hospital wins Community of the Year award

The Canterbury Charity Hospital Trust has won the 2018 Community of the Year award as part of the recently announced Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year award.

“The Charity Hospital’s vision has always been ‘by the community – for the community’ so we are delighted to win this award,” said Trust chairman and surgeon Mr Philip Bagshaw.

“The hospital and the provision of our free services wouldn’t happen without our huge community of volunteer specialists who donate time and expertise for patients across Canterbury.” Unique in NZ, the unpaid specialists are supported by a large number of volunteers including nurses, technicians, receptionists and fund raisers.

The other finalists were Pillars Auckland and the Whangawehi Catchment Management Group from Hawke’s Bay. The New Zealander of the Year awards.

The Charity Hospital was nominated for Community of the Year award which recognised organisations that share a strong sense of community spirit and play a vital role in enhancing the social, economic, cultural or environmental prosperity of their region.

“It is important to recognise and encourage these groups as their efforts make our communities stronger and more vibrant and promote true community spirit for this and generations to come,” says New Zealander of the Year national manager Glyn Taylor.

The Trust does not receive any Government funding and relies on fundraising events, donations and bequests to raise the funds required to run its free services.

The Canterbury Charity Hospital Trust last year celebrated 10 years since it opened its doors in Bishopdale and has clocked up over 14,000 patient visits during that time.

Celebrating 10 years since doors first opened

Celebrating 10 years since doors first opened

Over 14,000 patients helped as Canterbury Charity Hospital celebrates 10th birthday

If you’d asked Canterbury Charity Hospital co-founder Phil Bagshaw about the future of the new Canterbury Charity Hospital on opening day 10 years ago, he would never have predicted it would grow to encompass three high-tech building developments, two state-of-the-art theatres, oral surgery suites and multiple consulting rooms, staffed by over 300 dedicated volunteer medical and support staff.

“I thought it would only be a low-tech facility. I never dreamed it would provide high-tech services across so many varied areas of healthcare,” he says.

Nor would he have dreamed how many Cantabrians in need the hospital and its volunteer workforce would be able to help. To date, 14,337 free patient visits have been clocked up at the Harewood Road facility, providing care to many who are languishing in pain and discomfort, denied assessment and treatment from an under-resourced public health system. All patients have to be referred by their general practitioner or dentist.

Sumner retiree Ross Clapp was the first patient to receive surgery at the Canterbury Charity Hospital 10 years ago today (31 August 2007), with Bagshaw providing Ross with the hernia repair he so desperately needed.

“I am, to this day, eternally grateful for having my surgery at the Charity Hospital. If it hadn’t been for Phil Bagshaw and the wonderful team that day, I don’t know how much longer I may have waited for my operation in the public system,” says Ross.

Bagshaw says local GP’s have referred thousands of patients with nowhere else to turn to the hospital.

“What we have done shows there is massive unmet need for hospital-level healthcare. I only wish we could do more and that what we have achieved in Canterbury could spread around the whole country,” says Bagshaw, who last year co-authored original research showing that levels of unmet need are large and extend nationwide.

Despite the hospital’s desire to do more, what’s been achieved already by the country’s one and only stand-alone Charity Hospital is truly impressive.

The total of free 14,377 patient visits include:
4950 outpatient visits
2045 oral surgery and dental treatments
1375 general surgery procedures
829 gynaecological procedures
424 orthopaedic operations
331 audio or ear procedures
178 endoscopy procedures
119 ophthalmic or eye operations
63 vascular procedures
3587 free post-quake counselling sessions

Charity Hospital Executive Officer Carl Shaw says none of this would have been possible without the willingness and enthusiasm of local specialists, surgeons, nurses and theatre staff giving generously of their time to help those in need.

Oxford Women’s Health gynaecologist Simon Jones is one of many local surgeons who regularly donate their time and skills for free at the Charity Hospital.

“It’s gone from strength to strength and the improvements made at the hospital over the years are state of the art,” says Simon Jones. “It’s a pleasure to work there and I personally find it hugely satisfying”.

Phil Bagshaw is keen to also pay tribute to the hundreds of generous donors who’ve stepped up to support the hospital, as well as the non-medical volunteers who’ve assisted with everything from reception duties, fundraising, building maintenance and even gardening.

“I’m so proud of how the community has responded. They have generously given time and money in ways that are truly magnificent.”

As for the future, Bagshaw says as long as the support continues, the hospital will continue to thrive.

“We’ll keep looking for where the public healthcare system is leaving people in need and we will always try to fill the gaps as best we can.

“It remains my hope however, that one day our public hospitals will again open their doors to all those people in need.  If such a happy day were ever to arrive we could close the doors to the Charity Hospital with the satisfaction that we were no longer needed,” he says.

Canterbury Charity Hospital at a glance
August 31 2007: Opening of Stage One: The Ron Ball Day Surgery facility (surgery, recovery and assessment)
2012. Opening of Stage 2: Patricia Mauger House (endoscopy suite, counselling offers and dentistry clinic for WINZ clients).
2015. Opening of Stage 3: Major extensions to Ron Ball Day Surgery including a new larger recovery ward, theatre upgrade and improved patient facilities.
2017. Opening of Stage 4: Warner Mauger House (oral surgery, community room and administration offices.

Canterbury Charity Hospital needs to raise $750,000 ($15,000 per week) to cover its running costs.

Of every dollar fundraised, 82 cents goes directly to patient care.


Charity Hospital establishes new rectal bleeding clinic

A new rectal bleeding clinic has been established by the Canterbury Charity Hospital Trust in collaboration with St George’s Hospital for patients aged under 50 years.

To view TV ONE item

Media release from the Canterbury Charity Hospital Trust: 12 July 2017
Christchurch hospitals and surgeons join forces to provide free clinic to help diagnose bowel cancer in younger patients

Canterbury Charity Hospital and St George’s Hospital have stepped forward to provide a free clinic for men and women under 50 with rectal bleeding; one of the main symptoms of colorectal cancer.
From this week both hospitals will be providing free theatre time on a rotating weekly basis for specialists to carry out an investigative diagnostic test called flexible sigmoidoscopy on up to seven to eight patients per session. Due to their younger age these patients are not currently being seen for isolated rectal bleeding symptoms in the public health system.
Colorectal cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in New Zealand, claiming 1200 lives per year.
“Currently only patients over 50 with isolated rectal bleeding are being seen under the public health system as traditional risk profiling correctly assesses this older group as having the highest risk of colorectal cancer,” says Christchurch colorectal surgeon Professor Frank Frizelle. “But while older patients do make up the majority of colorectal cancer patients, international, and new New Zealand research shows clearly that an increasing number of men and women under 50 are being diagnosed with these cancers and that these patients require more timely investigation” he says.
A new Otago University and Christchurch Hospital study published this month in the British Journal of Surgery backs this up. It shows the incidence of colon cancer in New Zealand men under 50 from 1995-2012 increased by an alarming 14% per decade and the incidence of rectal cancer increased in men by 18%; while rectal cancer in women under 50 increased by 13% per decade.
Professor Frizelle says such has been the concern regarding cancer presentations in this younger age cohort that a group of city surgeons and gastroenterologists decided to approach both the Canterbury Charity Hospital and St George’s Hospital to see if they could help them fill this diagnostic need.
“By both hospitals stepping in to provide theatre time and staff to treat this under 50 group, it now allows the CDHB to concentrate on the older patients, leaving younger ones to go through this new separate assessment route” says Professor Frizelle.
The Canterbury Charity Hospital will administer the new initiative. Charity Hospital Co-Founder Professor Phil Bagshaw says city GPs are already responding positively to the new initiative, with several patients already referred for consideration.
“This is exactly the type of service we as a Charity Hospital are here to provide to deal with significant levels of unmet need in the community” says Professor Bagshaw.
Professor Frizelle says around a dozen city surgeons have so far volunteered to carry out the flexible sigmoidoscopy diagnostic treatment.
St George’s Chief Executive Greg Brooks says enough surgeons and staff have stepped up at both hospitals already to fill allocated theatre for the initiative until the end of the year.
“We’re pleased to be able to join with the Canterbury Charity Hospital to extend the existing charitable services St George’s Hospital currently provides to patients in need” says Mr Brooks. “We target most of the charitable assistance we offer to either the young to deal with conditions like glue ear, or the elderly for procedures such as cataract operations, so targeting this special age group under 50 in need of assistance will be complementary to that” he says.
The first patients were given their investigative sigmoidoscopies under the care of colorectal surgeon Mr Richard Flint at St George’s Hospital today. The next patients will be seen at the Canterbury Charity Hospital next week.
Professor Frizelle says this move is a significant sign of goodwill and collaboration from city hospitals and surgeons in joining forces to fulfil unmet patient need.


Tickets on sale for Cabaret

Tickets on sale for Cabaret

Tickets are on sale for this year’s major fundraising event – the Charity Hospital Cabaret. We are very excited to have moved to a larger venue this year and welcoming guests to the Wigram Air Force Museum where the event was first held in 2013.

The evening promises to provide an eclectic mix of entertainment, fine plated dining from the vBase team, beverages, live and silent auctions and plenty of opportunity to try out those dancing shoes and enjoy a fun night out.

The Charity Hospital Cabaret will start with pre-dinner drinks from 6.30pm. We look forward to seeing old friends and colleagues again and making new friends.

Tickets are all inclusive and cost $160 per guest or $1600 per table. We are happy to provide an invoice if that works better for your business. If your friends, colleagues or family have bought tickets separately please let Rosie know so we can make sure you all sit together on the night.

To purchase tickets please visit our Shop Page.

For more information or do donate an auction item please contact Event Manager Rosie Graham at



Charity Hospital opens new Oral Surgery

Charity Hospital opens new Oral Surgery

A new dental and oral surgery facility at the Canterbury Charity Hospital in Harewood Road is the first of its kind in New Zealand, and was developed to help reduce unmet need for the service.

The need for extractions under sedation was identified by members of the Canterbury branch of the NZ Dental Association including dentist Dr Stuart Johnson.

“The new oral surgery facility at the Charity Hospital will provide much needed treatment to Cantabrians who have been unable to get treatment through the public system or afford the treatment privately,” said Dr Johnson.

“Patients suffering pain and infection from teeth needing to be extracted by a specialist may now be able to receive this treatment at the Canterbury Charity Hospital providing they meet certain criteria.” The new service also includes denture making on-site.

The Canterbury Charity Hospital’s current dental service for WINZ clients aged 18 to 65 will continue but the addition of volunteer oral surgeons has meant that the new custom-designed building, Warner Mauger House, will now have two clinics. The Canterbury Charity Hospital is in Harewood Road, Bishopdale, and consists of three separate buildings next-door to each other.

Main contractor Naylor Love was responsible for the extensive renovation project which cost $550,000 and includes office and administration space upstairs to free-up existing offices for patient clinics.

Downstairs, a large community room can be used for free by community groups and organisations with a focus on health and wellbeing.

The oral surgery was opened on Saturday 25 February 2017 by former Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae who continues to be the Trust’s Patron.

Pictured above (left to right): Keith Chiang, Peter Ritchie, Bob Begg, Lisa Kahi-Trayer, Stuart Johnson, Mike Sell, Robynn Walsh, Sir Jerry Mateparae, Viv Levy and Mayor Lianne Dalziel (seated).