What happens at a pre-assessment appointment
Before surgery, we will invite you to a pre-assessment to make sure you are well enough for your operation. The assessment also allows us to confirm that you understand everything that will happen during and after your procedure and the best way to aid your recovery.
Why do I need to attend a pre-assessment appointment?
You may be required to attend a pre-assessment to ensure that you are fit for your surgery or procedure before you are admitted.
If any concerns are identified, our nurse will discuss these with your consultant or anaesthetist before your treatment to ensure it is safe to proceed as planned.
The pre-assessment appointment helps to ensure that you are fully informed about the procedure and the post-operative recovery and that you receive appropriate medicine management advice. It also provides you with an opportunity to discuss your forthcoming admission and your discharge arrangements with our nursing team, as well as ask any questions you may have to help put your mind at ease.
What is a pre-assessment appointment?
The pre-assessment appointment is a nurse-led appointment. Our hospital bookings team will arrange a suitable pre-assessment appointment for you. In general, we ask that you allow up to two hours for a face-to-face visit and up to 45 minutes for a telephone pre-assessment call. The appointment time can vary depending on your surgery or procedure and the number of tests that are required.
The appointment type depends on your planned procedure, anaesthetic type, your age and/or any known medical history. For some patients having a minor procedure, the pre-assessment can be undertaken over the telephone.
The appointment letter or e-mail will detail whether you are being asked to attend an appointment in person, or whether you have been booked for a telephone assessment.
Please be aware that you may be asked to attend the hospital for some tests before your procedure after your telephone pre-assessment.
When do I need to attend an appointment?
Your pre-assessment appointment will be arranged before your admission. We aim to complete this 3 - 4 weeks before your procedure where possible.
Our hospital administration team will do their best to consider any dates you are unavailable to attend the hospital if you notify your consultant, their medical secretary, or our surgical bookings team in advance.
How do I prepare for my pre-assessment?
You will be asked about your present and past medical and surgical history, so we would recommend that you have the following information available for your appointment:
- A list of all tablets and medications you are currently taking (including doses) and your prescriptions.
- Any X-rays, letters, and test results you have that are relevant to your admission.
- A GP summary (your GP surgery should be able to provide you with a printed "GP Summary” if you request this)
- Your NHS number if you have one.
For face-to-face pre-assessment appointments:
You may eat and drink as normal and take your usual medicines before your appointment. It is advisable to wear layered, loose-fitting clothing as you may be required to undress for an ECG if required. Please do not use any oil or moisturisers on the day of your appointment.
Chaperones are available to support you. If you would like a chaperone at any time, please ask the nursing team. If you have any special requirements, please let your hospital know before your appointment.
For telephone pre-assessment appointments:
We recommend that you take the phone call in a place where you have privacy and feel comfortable talking about your medical history. Please be aware that some of our hospital calls will appear as though they are coming from a private number.
What happens at a pre-assessment appointment?
Our nurse will ask you about your health, medical history, and your current medication.
During a face-to-face appointment, the nurse may carry out some routine tests, such as a blood test and an ECG. Routine swabs may be taken to check for certain infections, and you may be required to provide a urine sample.
The nurse will talk you through everything you need to know before your surgery. This may include pausing certain medications, and fasting instructions if required. The nurse will also make note of any special requirements and allergies that we need to be aware of before your admission.
Will I have an appointment with an anaesthetist before my admission?
The tests and observations completed during the pre-assessment appointment will be discussed with your consultant or anaesthetist before your admission where required. Depending on your general health and the proposed surgery, the pre-assessment nurse may refer you to be seen by an anaesthetist. The nurse will advise you if further assessment with your anaesthetist is required.
Why have I been asked to attend a test only appointment before my surgery/procedure?
You may be asked to attend an appointment for some tests, such as blood tests, MRSA swabs and ECG, following your telephone pre-assessment, or if any of your pre-assessment tests need to be retaken e.g., when your surgery date has been postponed. This appointment should not take more than 30 minutes.
Some of our hospitals will book you for two separate pre-assessment appointments, one with the nurse to run through the health questionnaire, and the other one to complete any relevant tests. We aim to arrange these together where possible to minimise the number of times you are required to visit the hospital.
What if I miss my appointment?
Failure to attend an appointment may lead to your admission being postponed or cancelled.
I need to change my appointment, what should I do?
If you are aware of any dates that you are unable to attend a pre-assessment appointment, please let your consultant, their medical secretary or our team know as soon as possible. We will do our utmost to arrange your appointment at a convenient time where possible.
We would appreciate you give as much notice as possible if you are unable to attend so that we can reschedule your appointment and offer your original slot to another patient. Please contact your hospital on the phone number provided in your e-mail or letter.
Can I bring a family member or a friend to the appointment?
If you would like to bring a friend or a family member, please feel free to do so. We would only ask you to limit this to one person. To ensure you get the most out of your appointment, we recommend that you do not bring young children with you. You may be required to have tests completed and therefore the environment may not be suitable.
How much does pre-assessment cost?
The cost of the appointment and tests are included in your all-inclusive hospital fees.