This information is for adults preparing to undergo surgery with us.
What is a pre-assessment appointment and why do you need one?
Before your operation you will need to be seen in the pre-assessment department clinic.
Pre-assessment clinic is a nurse led clinic and plays an important part in the preparation for your surgery. It includes an assessment of your health and fitness before surgery by carrying out various tests and investigations. If you have more complex medical issues, you may be seen in a clinic led by an anaesthetic consultant.
A pre-operative assessment appointment can take up to 1 to 2 hours long.
Before your appointment
Please check your appointment letter to see what you need to do to prepare for your appointment.
Have a list of any current medications you are taking. Whether prescription, over the counter, herbal medications, homeopathic or traditional.
Your current contact details and your emergency contact details and telephone number, also if there is some one different collecting you after your surgery their name and contact details too.
A note pad with any comments or questions you may wish to ask or would like to write down.
It is important to inform us if you are taking Aspirin, Warfarin, Clopidogrel, or any other blood thinning tablets.
If you need to change or cancel your appointment, please contact us as soon as possible.
On the day of your appointment
The pre assessment nursing staff will perform your pre-assessment electronically which will involve taking, a full medical history, surgery history and any social history.
You will undergo routine observations such as: Blood pressure, pulse, temperature, height, weight for your BMI (body mass index).
You may be required to have further investigations such as an electrocardiogram (ECG). This is recording the rate, rhythm, and electrical activity of your heart. This is a simple test that takes about five minutes and does not cause any discomfort.
An MRSA swab maybe taken with your consent; this is to screen for MRSA bacteria that can cause infections. Any infections must be treated before your surgery.
Other tests include:
- Blood test
- Urine Test
- Pregnancy Test
- Spirometer test
- Lung function test
- Sleep study test
These are tests will then support the decisions to whether you can proceed for your surgery, as they give us an overall picture off your current state of health.
You can eat and drink as normal on the day of your pre assessment and continue to take your normal medications.
Due to your current health state identified at your pre assessment you may be required to see a consultant anaesthetic doctor before your surgery. Such as high blood pressure uncontrolled diabetes, uncontrolled diabetes, uncontrolled COPD, uncontrolled COPD or asthma, uncontrolled epilepsy.
The nurse who performs your pre assessment will discuss their findings with the anaesthetist if required. The anaesthetist may wish to review you in their clinic to ensure you are fit to proceed for an anaesthetic and discuss possible anaesthetic procedures and risks.
You may be required to attend further tests, that are needed. The anaesthetic doctor will refer you to the relevant hospital department or to your G.P.
Once all the investigations are completed you will be seen back in the clinic to discuss whether you are fit to proceed for your surgery and to ensure you are fully aware of the risks.
Every step of the way shared decision-making discussions are made with you and the team looking after you.
Different types of pre-assessments
Face to face
Where you will see a nurse in a nurse led pre assessment clinic within a healthcare environment. Please prepared to spend up to two hours at your appointment.
If your appointment is by telephone, please make sure you are in an appropriate place for discussing your medical history.
Due to being unable to predict how long each call will take, the appointment may be up to 1 hour earlier or later than planned.
A nurse or healthcare assistant will call you, the call may appear with no caller ID.
It is possible the phone assessment will show that you may need to come into hospital for a routine test or a face-to-face assessment. If this happens, the nurse will arrange this for you during the phone call.
Changing or cancelling your appointment
Please tell us a soon as possible if you need to change or cancel your appointment so we can offer your appointment to another patient. Missed appointments cost the NHS millions of pounds.
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.
After your appointment
If we find that you have any medical problems that are identified, you may be required to visit your GP for treatment before proceeding.
If everything is satisfactory our nurses will explain the plan for the day of your surgery and answer any questions or queries that you may have.
Once your results are satisfactory you will be contacted by the service teams to arrange a date for your surgery. Once a date comes available or if a cancellation occurs you will be called.
Please do not call the service teams they will call you.
If your pre assessment nurse has instructed you not to eat (fast) before the operation, it is important that you do not eat or drink anything, this included light snacks, sweets, and water.
You will need an empty stomach during surgery, so you do not vomit while you are under anaesthetic.Adult Fasting Guidelines – When and What You Are Allowed to Eat and Drink before Your Operation
Hygiene and infection control
Reduce your risk of infection by having a shower at home before your admission, use the hand cleaning facilities at every ward entrance and beside.
If provided, use your antiseptic body and nasal treatment at home for the 4 days before admission and the morning of admission at home. Please bring your treatment to continue as an inpatient.
You will need to remove all the body piercings, make up, nail polish and false nails before your operation.
What to pack for your hospital visit
If you are a day case:
You may wish to bring:
- Dressing gown
- Book or magazines
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Activity book
- Sanitary towels
You will be asked to fill out an indemnity disclosure if you bring and valuables and appliances into hospital.
If you are staying overnight, you may wish to pack:
- A nightdress or Pyjamas
- Day clothes
- Clean underwear
- Dressing gowns and slippers
- Toiletries – soap, toothbrush, shampoo, and deodorant
- Sanitary towels
- Razor and shaving materials
- Comb or hairbrush
- Book or magazines
- Medicines you normally take, and your GP prescription chart
- Glasses and contact lenses with a case
- Notepad and pen
- Small amount of money
Towels are provided by the ward staff, if you require one, please ask.
Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital
Ward B4 03033 303696 (Monday to Friday, 8am – 4pm)
Scunthorpe General Hospital
Goole & District Hospital
Ward 5 03033 304259 (Tuesday to Friday, 8am – 4pm)
Frequently Asked Questions
Questions about pre-assessment
What is a pre assessment appointment and why do I need one?
A pre assessment is an appointment with a nurse led clinic before your surgery to check your health, medical history, and home circumstances. You need to attend the appointment before your operation, it may involve certain tests and investigations such as a blood test ECG, MRSA screen, weight, height and to check your blood pressure.
The pre assessment is to check if you have any medical problems that might need to be treated before your operation, or if you’ll need any special care during and after your surgery.
You may need to be seen by an anaesthetic doctor before your surgery to ensure you are safe to have an anaesthetic for your operation.
I have a question about my surgery, who do I ask to speak to?
Your surgeon will be able to answer specific questions about your surgery, please call your surgeons secretary.
I have changed my mind about my surgery, who do I contact?
If you have changed your mind about having your surgery please contact the admission team and let them know as soon as possible so you appointment can be given to another person alternatively you can contact your surgeons secretary or call the pre assessment department
I have forgotten when my pre assessment appointment is?
Please contact the pre assessment department you have your pre assessment with or alternatively contact the administration team under your surgeon
If I or a family member I care for require reasonable adjustments to my appointment, who do I contact?
We offer extra pre assessment clinics to support individual patients who require any reasonable adjustments. Please contact the pre assessment department your appointment is with or alternatively contact the administration team under your surgeon.
Please state this if you receive a call to arrange an appointment.
I have had my preoperative assessment (POA), when will my surgery be?
Your pre-assessment paperwork can last up to 18 weeks from the day you attended your preassessment in clinic. Please do not worry if you have had your POA and have not been contacted regarding surgery after your appointment. If your POA shows you are Fit to proceed you will be added to the waiting lists for surgery and should be offered a surgery date very soon.
Please do not contact the admission team or surgeon’s secretary they will contact you.
My clinical circumstance or health has changed since my pre assessment, who do I contact?
If you are unsure if you are still able to go ahead with your surgery, please contact the pre assessment department you had your pre assessment with or alternatively contact the administration team under your surgeon.
Can I continue to eat and drink and take my medications before my pre assessment appointment?
Yes, you can continue to eat and drink as normal. Please ensure you take your medication as normal, if
we need to do any further investigations; we will instruct you further.
Questions about my surgery
I have had my operation already in a different hospital who do I contact?
Please contact the admission team and let them know as soon as possible so you, your appointment can be given to another person alternatively you can contact your surgeon’s secretary or call the pre assessment department.
What happens if my surgery is postponed?
You may be asked to come back for a blood test or a repeat MRSA test if your surgery is postponed and they arrange a new date for you. You will be contacted by the admin team.
How long will my recovery be after my surgery?
Your surgeon will be able to answer specific questions about your recovery post-surgery. Please ensure you write down any questions you may have when you attend your out-patient appointment.
I am a smoker; will this affect my surgery?
It is important you tell admissions and your pre-operative assessment nurse that you smoke.
Smoking may affect your surgery, smoking greatly increase these risks of complications during and after surgery. You can reduce the risks if you stop smoking as soon as possible before your operation.
Evidence shows smokers who quit approximately 4 weeks or more before surgery have a lower risk of complication and better results 6 months afterwards.
For more information’s, please visit the NHS website Quit smoking – better Health – NHS
I need a translator, who do I ask?
It is important when you see your surgeon that yourself or a family member asking on your behalf that an translator is required at your pre assessment as unfortunately we cannot take medical history from a family member due to legal reasons but also we need to know that you as the patient understands all the risks and complications related to your surgery.
You can also contact the admission team to ask for a translator for your appointments. In pre assessment we also offer extra time to patients who require additional support.
I need help getting to my clinic appointment who do I contact?
Please ensure you make the admin staff aware who has made your appointment you require transport; you can contact the patient transport service at least 5-7 days prior to your appointment.
I have a chronic health condition; will this affect my surgery?
If you suffer from a chronic health condition including diabetes, COPD, heart failure etc it is important you tell the pre assessment nurse and the surgeon in case we have to do additional investigations prior to your surgery.
They may want you to have a blood test to check your HBA1c levels if this has not been done at your GP recently, to ensure you are safe to proceed.
They will also be able to provide information on the risk and considerations associated with these conditions and surgery.
You may also be required to see the anaesthetic consultant prior to your surgery to make sure it is safe for you to proceed.
Alternative the pre assessment nurse could deem you fit to proceed if all your chronic conditions are well controlled.
Can I keep my metal-based hair extensions in?
Unfortunately, you will need to remove your hair extensions especially if they have any metal bases fixates onto them, this is due to some off the equipment we use. Please feel free to ask the pre assessment nurse you see for further information.
Do I need to remove my gel/acrylic nails before my surgery?
Unfortunately, you will need to remove all nail vanish, gel/ acrylic nails before your surgery. This is because we need to see the colour bed off your nails, as this tells the anaesthetic a lot about your oxygen levels within your blood but also can tell us if you have low levels off oxygen in your blood.
Can I drive after an anaesthetic?
After a general or regional anaesthetic or even sedation you should not:
Drive or ride a bicycle, drink alcohol, operate a machine or cook for 24 hours
Be alone or be responsible for others especially children
This is due to patients not being able to think clearly and their judgement may be affected.