Pre-assessment for surgery patient information
Find out what to expect when you come to hospital for your appointment at the pre-assessment for surgery service.
Before your appointment
One to five working days following the outpatient appointment where the decision was made to list you for a procedure, we will call you to schedule your pre-operative assessment appointment. If you have not received a call from us within five working days, please call the waiting list office (020 3311 6611). Alternatively, this could be a walk-in appointment, and you may be sent to the pre-assessment clinic on the same day as the appointment at which your clinician confirms that you will be listed for surgery.
You are welcome to bring one relative, close friend or carer with you to your appointment. You are welcome to ask for a chaperone and we will endeavour to provide one for you, but we cannot guarantee that we will have a chaperone available. We would advise that patients wear either loose clothing or clothing than can be removed easily, as this will make it easier to carry out certain tests such as measuring your blood pressure or your heart rate.
Whether you attend for a walk-in appointment or a pre-booked appointment, it would be very helpful if you could bring:
- Your appointment letter, if you have one
- A list of all medications you currently take, including their strength and how often you take them
- If you have any health conditions, please bring any letters or test results related to that condition
- Any updates regarding your contact details or those of your next of kin
During your appointment
Please note that we are a teaching hospital, so medical students may be present for some appointments. If you do not wish to have them in the room please let the nurse know and the students will be asked to step outside.
Pre-booked appointments usually take 30 to 45 minutes. The pre-assessment nurse will ask you a number of questions related to your general health and wellbeing. You may wish to bring someone with you to your appointment if you think this will be helpful to you. Following the successful completion of your appointment, you will be given information about:
- Fasting instructions (as applicable)
- Medication advice
- What to expect on the day of admission
- A guidance information sheet specific to your procedure (where possible)
Walk-in appointments take less time – usually 15 to 30 minutes. You will be asked to complete a simple health screening questionnaire when you first arrive in the clinic. If you have any problems completing the questionnaire you can ask a family member if present to help you, or the nursing staff in clinic. Following your appointment, you will be given the same information listed above.
As part of your assessment, you will also undergo some or all of the following tests or investigations as applicable:
- Recording of your height and weight
- Blood pressure/heart rate/respiration/oxygen saturation level
- Blood tests
- An ECG (electrocardiogram) – which is a way of recording the rate, rhythm and electrical activity of your heart
- MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus) and CRE (carbapenemase-producing enterobacteriaceae) screening
On occasion, some tests take place in another department and very occasionally, on a separate day to your appointment.
After your appointment
Once all tests have been completed and you have received all relevant information you require, you will be able to leave. The nursing staff will check the results and if there is anything they need to discuss with you, they will contact you directly. You may need to return to the clinic for a second appointment if you have more complex health issues and need to be seen by an anaesthetist.
Patient information leaflets
- Pre-operative assessment information pack
- Pre-operative assessment clinic - Charing Cross Hospital
- Pre-operative assessment clinic - St Mary's Hospital
Watch this video to learn how to keep yourself safe during your hospital stay.
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Your inpatient stay
You may need to stay at one of our hospitals to have a procedure or receive treatment, either overnight as an inpatient or during the day as a day patient. Ahead of your inpatient stay, you will usually need to attend a pre-operative assessment appointment.
Find out more about how you can reschedule or cancel your inpatient stay, pre-operative assessments, what to bring with you when you come to hospital and much more.