The central pre-operative assessment clinic specialises in assessing patients' fitness for planned surgery for all patients over the age of 16, having either urology, general or orthopaedic surgery. All patients must be cleared by Pre-operative Assessment prior to surgery taking place.
An assessment is valid for 12 weeks. If your surgery is not booked within 12 weeks of your assessment the team will triage the assessment and you may need to book another appointment.
Pre-operative assessment is staffed by a specialist nursing team, consultant anaesthetists and medical trainees.
When the decision has been made that you are going to have surgery, you will either have an appointment booked with the pre-operative assessment service or you will be asked to complete an assessment form in the clinic, depending on what procedure you have been listed for.
Due to the high demands of the unit, there will be a wait for the majority of patients between the decision to operate and the pre-operative assessment appointment. If you are unable to attend, please cancel your appointment with enough notice so that another patient can be seen instead. If you do not attend your appointment you may have a further wait to rebook your appointment.
Waiting to be seen
Please allow 10-15 minutes to get to your clinic appointment from the car park or bus stop.
POAC have several different clinics running throughout the day and patients may not be seen in the order that they have checked in at reception. POAC does experience busy periods throughout the week and we advise that patients bring something to occupy themselves with. Patients can bring someone with them to the clinic; however, please be aware that our reception area has limited space.
Due to the high volume of activity going through the clinic, patients that arrive more than 15 minutes late for their appointment will unfortunately not be seen.
What to bring with you
It would be helpful if patients bought with them glasses and/or hearing aid if worn and a list of any medication that they are regularly taking.
Depending upon your individual fitness and the type of surgery you are having, you may go through various assessment stages.
You may have been asked to complete an assessment questionnaire and the nursing team in outpatients may have taken some observations after your clinic appointment when the decision for you to have surgery was made. The specialist nursing team will triage your questionnaire and results and either clear you for surgery or book a full pre-operative assessment appointment for you. Please expect a telephone call from the team if you have completed a questionnaire.
Many of our patients will need to be tested (screened) for MRSA, which will be done during the assessment. (NB patients that are known to have had MRSA in the past will not be screened but given treatment before their admission).
Most of our patients are cleared for surgery at these appointments; however, some patients will not be cleared for surgery and will either need to return to their General Practitioner (GP) for further treatment (usually treatment for urine infections or treatment for high blood pressure) or referred to another department for further investigation or advice (for example cardiology department).
If patients require transport, this will need to be arranged by the patient or their representative, through the patient's GP. The Trust no longer organises this.
Patients requiring an interpreter (foreign language or British Sign Language) should ask a representative to contact POAC to request an interpreter for their appointment.