Your appointment in the Pre-assessment clinic
The pre-assessment clinic is a nurse led clinic where we determine if you are physically fit enough to have surgery and an anaesthetic.
If you have more complex medical issues you may be seen in a High-Risk Anaesthetic led clinic, where an anaesthetist will discuss with you the risks and the benefits of having your proposed procedure.
It may also be possible for you to complte your own pre-assessment questionnaire at home to help with the pre-assessment process. If this is possible then you will be asked to provide a current email address or mobile number during your outpatient appointment so an invite can be sent to you.
You will be sent a link with a unique code to log on to MyPreOp. MyPreOp is an easy-to-use health questionnaire and once complete, we can assess to see if any more investigation such as blood tests or an ECG are required prior to your procedure.
On this page you can find out about:
- Before your appointment
- Changing or cancelling your appointment
- At your appointment
- After your appointment
- Contact us
- Getting here
- Preparing for your stay
- Reducing the risk of infection
- Essential patient pre-operative information
Before your appointment
- If you have any questions, please write them down and bring them with you so the nurse can answer them for you.
- Bring a list of medications that you currently take, including strength and how often you take them.
- If you are currently being reviewed by another hospital, please bring any letters or results that you may have with you to your appointment as it may be useful.
- You will have a physical examination, please be mindful that you may have to remove top items of clothing.
Changing or cancelling your appointment
If you are unable to keep your appointment, please let us know as soon as possible, so that we can rebook your appointment and give your original to someone else. Failure to keep an appointment and not notify us that you are unable to attend may result in your procedure being cancelled.
How to change or cancel your appointment
- By calling the admissions office on 01553 613600
This appointment is important preparation for your surgery. You must come to this appointment or let us know if you need to cancel or change it.
At your appointment
The specialist nurse will ask you about your general health, fitness, previous operations and illnesses. The assessment will include:
- Routine observations – blood pressure, pulse, respiratory rate.
- Blood tests
- Urine test if required
- Swabs for MRSA (methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus), a type of bacteria that can cause infections. Any infection must be treated before you can have surgery.
- ECG (electrocardiogram), for patients over 60 or have a history of cardiac problems. This is a way or recording the rate, rhythm and electrical activity of the heart. It is a simple test that doesn’t not cause any discomfort or pain. Please note that you will need to partially undress for this test.
- Recording height and weight
- A physical examination, so you may need to partially undress and lie down on the examination couch. This examination will be performed by a specialist nurse who will listen to your heart and lungs.
In some cases, additional tests may be required, such as x-rays and echocardiogram. This is not necessary for all patients.
Once these tests have been completed you will be able to leave.
Please be aware that the pre-assessment appointment may take up to 2 hours.
Please note that the pre assessment nurses do not have access to dates for your operation. This information will be sent directly from admissions and the waiting list co-ordinator.
After your appointment
If we find that you have problems that we were not aware of such as high blood pressure or diabetes, you will need to visit your gp for treatment – we will advise you if this is the case.
If further tests are needed, the pre-assessment nurse will refer you to the relevant hospital department or back to your gp.
Surgical Pre-assessment reception 01553 613124
Admissions Office 01553 613613 (extension 2456)
The location of the Pre-assessment clinic – is the Sandringham Unit, which is situated in the lower ground floor of the hospital, and in clearly signposted from the main hospital entrance. Please note that the clinic is located a fair distance from the main entrance of the hospital. Wheelchairs are available on a first come first served basis from the main entrance.
There is a small pay and display car park outside the Sandringham Unit, spaces are limited, and we would advise you bring the correct change for the meter.
You can view a map of the hospital here.
The Pre-assessment and Admissions team, wish to make your stay as comfortable as possible. This page has been complied to provide you with the information you will need before you come into hospital and while you are here.
If after reading this information and you have any questions or concerns, please telephone the admissions office who will be able to direct your enquiry to the correct department:
The Pre-assessment clinic is open Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm, excluding bank holidays 01553 613124
The admissions unit is open Monday – Friday 07.00-15.00 Excluding Bank Holidays 01553 214110
We ask you to avoid using mobile phones in the ward and clinical areas for reasons of patient safety, mutual respect, dignity and comfort.
Preparing for your stay
Testing for COVID-19 before your admission for your hospital procedure
Lateral Flow Test (LFT) 72-hours prior to admission.
whilst you are waiting for your surgery, there are several ways you can help prepare yourself both physically and mentally for your surgery.
The Royal College of anaesthetists have compiled a patient information leaflet ‘Fitter Better Sooner’ which will give you information about this. You can also watch a video on this here.
Before your operation
- Arrange time off work
- Arrange for a responsible and physically able adult to collect from the hospital and stay with you overnight (an oversight carer is not required if you have had an overnight stay in hospital ore procedures requiring local anaesthetic only)
- Arrange for someone to look after any dependants
- If you think that you may need any additional care following your surgery please read additional section in this booklet
- If you develop a cough, cold or any other illnesses or your health status changes from time of pre-assessment to your operation - please let the admissions office know so that we can advise you of what to do. Result in this not being adhered to could cause your operation to be cancelled on the day
- If you become pregnant please let us know
- Inform us of any planned holidays
- If you are unable to attend for your surgery for any reason, please inform us as soon as possible. We can then offer your place to another patient
What to bring with you
- Any drugs or inhalers that you are using, in their original containers, placed in the yellow bag that you were given at pre-assessment
- If you use a CPAP machine you must bring this into hospital with you
- Overnight bag including Dressing gown/slippers/toiletries/clothes to go home in/nightware
- Something to occupy your time i.e. Book/magazine
- Please bring in spectacles and Hearing aids
- Denture pot if required
- Walking aids if required
- Octenosan@ wash that you were given at pre-assessment
Things to do the night before/morning of your operation
- Have a bath or shower using Octenosan@ wash as directed - see patient information leaflet (link to leaflet)
- Please take all regular medications - unless you have been instructed to stop them in Pre-assessment
- Wear loose comfortable clothing
- Remove makeup and all nail varnish/acrylic/gel nails
- Remove all jewellery. A wedding ring is permitted, but must be removed if the surgery is to be performed on the same arm/hand
- Leave valuables at home. The Trust cannot accept responsibility for items that are lost or damaged
- We advise you to refrain from smoking/drinking alcohol for 24 hours before your admission. Patients under the influence of illicit drugs or alcohol will be cancelled
- Please read your starving instruction carefully. Failure to follow the advice given may result in your surgery having to be rescheduled or cancelled.
What will happen on the day
The Admissions Unit:
Your admission letter will state where you are having your operation, either in The Sandringham Unit or The Arthur Levin Day Surgery Centre. It will tell you what time you need to be there and when you need to stop eating and drinking prior to your procedure – if required. During your pre-assessment clinic appointment if you need to stop or start any medications prior to your procedure you will have been advised of this, please follow these instructions.
What to expect:
On arrival you will be seated in the waiting room or within a bay where you will be assessed by the nurse, the anaesthetist and the surgeon. Please bear with us if some questions are repeated through these assessments, this is to ensure you are safe and happy to proceed with your planned procedure. If you have any questions about the procedure please feel free to ask. Please be aware the surgeon may wish to examine or mark the area which will be operated on.
Your routine observations will be checked, including your blood pressure, pulse and temperature, and further blood tests or urine samples may be required.
You will be kept up to date with an estimated time when you will be going to theatre and informed when to change into your gown and apply the compression stockings provided. Do keep yourself warm and feel free to use the blanket provided.
We will then ask you to wait patiently on the unit until you are collected for theatre. Please be aware, several different theatre lists will be running at once so you may see other people arrive after you but go to theatre before you.
When you do go to theatre, your belongings will be stored in a locked room and brought to you when you arrive back on the ward after your procedure is complete. We ask you to please label your bags clearly.
Reducing the risk of infection in hospital
You will have been given a bottle of Octenesan wash from pre-assessment. Please follow the instruction leaflet and wash the night before and the morning of surgery, washing your hair once with Octenisan . Ocenisan is an antibacterial wash which helps remove the bacteria from your skin and protect you from micro-organisms including MRSA.
At pre-assessment clinic – we will swab you for the presence of MRSA on your skin. If your results identify that you have MRSA, the infection control team will contact you to ensure that you receive the correct treatment.
It is very important that you bring the bottle back in with you when you come into hospital.
Essential patient pre-operative information
Information about your operation can be found through EIDO Healthcare who have created www.AboutMyHealth.org, an online forum and information library.
Useful documents and links
- Information booklet for our inpatients
- Falls leaflet
- Infection Prevention and Control - MRSA leaflet
- Pain relief after surgery
- Anaesthetics (overview)
- Safeguarding leaflet
- Total hip replacement leaflet
- Total knee replacement leaflet
- Royal College of Anaesthetists
- Fitter, Better, Sooner (Video)
- Operation waiting times (Video)
- QEH Poster about preparing for surgery (PDF)