Pre-operative assessment clinic

Pre-operative assessment clinic (POAC)
Most patients coming into hospital for an operation will be asked to attend the pre-operative assessment clinic (POAC). Only patients coming in for teeth extraction and hysteroscopy under local anaesthesia do not need to attend this clinic. We will give you an appointment to come to the clinic 3-5 weeks before your operation. Our nurses are trained in pre-operative assessment. If you have more complex medical issues, we may refer you to an anaesthetic consultant-led clinic.

Pre-operative appointment
This appointment is very important to prepare you for surgery. We will call you at least a week before to confirm your pre-assessment appointment. You must let us know as soon as possible if you need to cancel or rearrange it. Your surgery will be cancelled if you fail to attend the clinic. The whole assessment can take up to 2-3 hours. Try to come in at least 10-15 min before your appointment. The clinic is on the first floor of the yellow corridor in the main hospital.

  • If you have any questions about anaesthesia, write them down and bring them with you to the clinic, so we can answer them
  • If you have any questions about your surgery, talk to your surgeon at your outpatient appointment

During your pre-assessment

  • We will confirm your full name and other details and check you in
  • We will give you a questionnaire to complete
  • You can ask your family to help you if you have any problems completing the questionnaire, or
  • One of our nurses can help you complete the questionnaire when you come in

We will record your height and weight, observe your blood pressure, pulse, saturation levels and take MRSA swabs from two different parts of your body (mouth and groin).You must bring with you:

  • a list of all the medicines you are taking, including their strength and how often you take them
  • any reports or clinical letters from other hospitals, national or international

You can eat, drink and take your medications as normal on your appointment day. One of our nurses who will ask you questions about your health, fitness, and any previous operations and illnesses. As part of your assessment, you may also undergo an electrocardiogram (ECG), blood test or other related investigations.

After your appointment
You will be able to leave once we have completed these tests and you have received all the information you need. The nurse will check the results. They will contact you if they need to discuss anything with you.You must be assessed as being fit before you can have your surgery. If you need to see an anaesthetist, we’ll book an appointment for you in their clinic which they hold three times a week. We will try to make sure you see the anaesthetist on the same day. If it is not possible, we will book you for the next available clinic.

If you have high blood pressure, or high blood sugar levels, we will refer you to your GP. Your GP may send you for investigations or start you on medications. You will have to return for the pre-assessment at a later date to check the reading again to make sure that you are fit for your operation.

Your surgery may be cancelled if you’re found to be unfit.

Pre-assessment walk-in clinic

We have a walk –in clinic to assess patients on the same day of their outpatient appointment. Once you have agreed with your surgeon to undergo surgery, we will send you to our one-stop pre-assessment clinic. You will have to go through the same process except this will all be done on the same day and you will not have to return on a separate day to be assessed. Let us know if you can’t wait and we will set up a new appointment for you.