What is Pre-Operative Assessment?
Before your operation we need to make sure that you are fit and healthy for an anaesthetic.
Our aims in the Pre-Operative Assessment Clinic:
• To assess how fit you are for surgery and anaesthetic
• To ensure that you will be in the best health prior to the operation.
• To help reduce your worries and concerns
• To provide information about your admission to hospital, your length of stay and your discharge date.
Opening times and location:
The unit is open from 08:30 until 16:30 (Monday – Friday) and is based at Galen house (2nd Floor) in Harlow.
How long will it take?
Please allow up to 2-3 hours for your pre-operative assessment clinic appointment. We will advise you on arrival of any potential delays.
What to bring with you:
Please bring with you any medication that you are taking (including tablets, eye drops, inhalers, etc). This will help the pre-assessment staff to assess you.
Seeing the Pre-Assessment nurse:
The Pre-Operative Assessment nurse will carry out a number of simple investigations which include:
Taking your blood pressure, pulse and oxygen levels;
Measuring your weight and height.
If appropriate, further investigations may also be carried out which include:
• Urine test
• MRSA screening
• Pregnancy test
• Blood test
• ECG (Electrocardiography - a tracing of the activity of your heart)
The nurse will ask you some questions about your lifestyle (e.g. whether you smoke, drink, or become breathless on exertion). They will also ask you questions about yourself and your general health, and talk to you about any arrangements you may need to make for when you get home after your operation. You will be told your expected date of discharge to allow you to make arrangements for when you leave hospital.
The nurse will also give you an information leaflet explaining what happens when you come into hospital and information relevant to your procedure plus your care before, during and after your operation.
If clinically necessary the pre-operative nurse may refer you to an anaesthetist for further investigation.
At Pre-Operative Assessment you may also see a doctor who will ask about your health and explain your operation to you. The doctor may ask you to sign a consent form if not already completed in the Out-Patients department. This is a form that will clearly state what operation you are planning to have done. Please read the consent form carefully before signing it. You will be given a copy to keep. If the consent form is not completed at this appointment, it will be completed when you come into hospital.
The doctor may examine you and ask you further questions. This is a good time to ask the doctor any questions or raise any concerns you have about your operation. It’s a good idea to write your questions down before you come for your appointment so that you don’t forget them.
Before your arrive at Pre-Operative Assessment:
You will be given a health questionnaire to complete – this will be supplied in advance or given on the day. You will also be given a consent confirmation checklist.
At The Princess Alexandra Hospital we take infection control very seriously and follow the Department of Health guidance in screening elective patients for MRSA.
We screen all relevant Elective patients for Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in line with Department of Health guidance.
What is MRSA?
MRSA is a common type of bacteria that lives harmlessly in the nose or on the skin of around 25-30% of people. Most people do not even realise they are carrying the germ, but occasionally MRSA can cause an infection. The infection can result in minor problems such as skin infections or boils but very occasionally it can lead to serious health problems such as blood poisoning and infections of the lungs, bones or the heart valve. A small number of people die from the effects of MRSA.
When someone is coming into Hospital and is found to be carrying MRSA they commence a course of treatment to reduce the risk of developing an infection.
In line with guidance, we swab patients up-to three weeks prior to their TCI (to come in) date. This unfortunately may mean that you require a second visit to the hospital.
If your result is positive, the pre-operative assessment staff will inform both you and your GP regarding further treatment.
When will my Assessment take place?
Patients will have the opportunity to have their pre-operative assessment on the day of their out-patient appointment or alternatively to book a mutually agreeable date.
Tell us what you think:
We value all feedback and there are a number of ways to provide this.
The Pre-Operative Assessment unit has Patient Experience Trackers which enable you to give us immediate feedback about your experience and satisfaction.
You can also speak to PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service), complete a comments card which are available throughout the hospital or upload your feedback to NHS Choices by visiting www.nhs.uk/pah
Contact details for Pre-Operative Assessment:
There are different contact telephone numbers depending on where your procedure is taking place.
Eye Unit: 01279 444455 (extension: 7378)
Pre-Operative Assessment Unit: 01279 694784