Preparing for your treatment in the Croydon Elective Centre

Initial pre-assessment screening

Before your treatment, you will receive a telephone call from a member of our team to discuss your care. They will talk to you about your upcoming appointment, the benefits and risks of any procedures and whether you are able to complete a period of self-isolation before your treatment. Once your treatment is booked, you will be given further guidance on what to do to prepare for your visit to hospital.

Pre-operative assessments

Before your treatment, you will be asked to take part in either a telephone or face to face pre-operative assessment, where we determine if you are physically fit enough to have surgery and an anaesthetic.

If you are invited to a face to face appointment, this will be held within our Outpatients department, on the first floor of the London Wing (Blue Zone).

Please see full information on the Pre-operative Assessment Clinic at the end of this page.

You are no longer formally required to self isolate

You will be asked to minimise their exposure risk between tests and the procedure, but will not be asked to formally isolate.

To hep minimise your risk of exposure, you should:

  • Regularly wash your hands and ask carers or support workers who visit your home to also wash their hands
  • Avoid touching your face

What happens next?

You will be asked to carry out a lateral flow test 3 days before your theatre procedure and on the day of the procedure. This can be carried out at home or in the swabbing pod. To purchase your lateral flow tests, see the government website for details.

If you are a patient who is deemed as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (and will have received a national NHS letter declaring this) will require a PCR screening 48 hours prior to surgery as per our current Trust policy. 

We will contact you to arrange for you to be tested for coronavirus before your treatment.
This will take place on the hospital site at our swabbing pod, a drive-in testing clinic. We will confirm a time for you to attend and a trained nurse will complete a COVID-19 PCR test— a simple nose and throat swab — through your car window.

We will contact you to confirm your results. Your operation or procedure will not take place if you test positive for coronavirus unless it is very urgent or considered an emergency by the clinical team.

*Map of COVID Pod to be inserted here*

Image of the mag of our hospital, showing the swabbing pod

What should you do if you develop coronavirus symptoms?

You must let us know if you think you have symptoms including a high temperature, new continuous cough, or loss or change in your sense of smell or taste. Before your admission to hospital, you should also let us know if you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus within 14 days of your treatment.

If you or a household member develops symptoms of coronavirus or have confirmed coronavirus, please follow the advice on what to do here.

Pre-Operative Assessment Clinic

About the service

A pre-operative assessment is performed on all adult patients who are going to have an operation or a surgical procedure performed under:

  • a general anaesthetic (when you are unconscious during the operation)
  • a spinal anaesthetic (when an injection into your back numbs all of the lower part of your body)
  • a block anaesthetic (when a part of the body is made numb)

You will not be required to have a preoperative assessment if you are only going to have a local anaesthetic (similar to the injections given by a dentist to numb a small area) unless sedation (drugs to make you relaxed and sleepy) is going to be given as well.

Your pre-operative assessment happens after you and your surgeon have decided that a surgical procedure is necessary.

High Risk Clinic

The Consultant Anaesthetist Pre-Assessment Clinic works alongside the pre-operative nurse assessment. Not all patients need to see a consultant at pre-assessment, however if the nurse identifies any previous problems that have arisen with previous anaesthetic care or identifies that there are certain conditions related to your underlying health they may ask the advice of one of the consultant anaethetists. This may (or may not) require you to attend a face to face appointment where the issues requiring attention can be discussed and a suitable plan made going forward. An example might be stopping blood thinning medications or adjusting diabetic drugs and insulin. There may be a requirement to undertake further investigations to ensure that you are  fit enough to undergo your planned surgery, such as scans of the heart (echo cardiograms) or breathing tests (spirometry). Or there may be a requirement for a further period of time before surgery to help improve an existing condition, such as blood pressure or diabetes. You may be asked to see your GP to help with this or this may be arranged directly by the doctor if it requires a specialist.  Whilst this may be frustrating, the aim here is to ensure the safest and most effective care for you overall and not to unnecessarily take risks with your health.

For patients who need to have 'major surgery', especially those who are older or have several long term conditions, a discussion and assessment with a consultant can be very helpful. Consultant Anaesthetists work closely with surgeons and are able to help guide you through the process of making some difficult decisions about whether to have an operation or not and what the best options for treatment are. Sometimes bringing along a relative can also be very helpful. Discussing all options,  the benefits and risks of each and 'sharing' the decision between patients, relatives and clinical staff is considered to be the best approach by many. This appointment may take up to 30 minutes and require further attendance for investigations and discussion with other clinical specialists. There is currently a daily clinic provided for this service.

What does the service provide?

The aims of the service are to:

  • Assess how fit you are for surgery and anaesthetic.
  • Ensure that you are as fit as possible for surgery and anaesthetic.
  • Help reduce your worries and concerns.
  • Provide verbal and written information about your admission to hospital, your surgical procedure, length of stay and discharge.

A nurse will perform your assessment, asking you questions about your general health and your lifestyle (e.g. whether your smoke or drink). If you take medication then you must bring a GP prescription for the nurse to see.

Your blood pressure, height, weight and urine will be checked and you may have other tests carried out for example:

  • MRSA screening
  • Blood test
  • ECG ( a tracing of the activity of your heart)
  • Pregnancy test
  • Lung function test
  • Chest X-ray

Your assessment with the nurse will normally last about 30 minutes. However, you should allow approximately 3 hours for your appointment as you may have to undergo certain tests in other parts of the hospital as part of your assessment.

If you have a medical condition that is unstable or you have a medical history that is complex you will be referred to an Anaesthetist who may want to see you prior to your surgical procedure in a separate clinic appointment.

Who will patients meet?

  • Administrators who will check and update your demographics electronically andresolve any queries or concerns promptly and effectively.
  • Registered nurses will undertake the pre-operative assessment supported by health care assistants.
  • You may also need to see an anaesthetist if your pre-assessment nurse highlights that you have a complex medical condition.

When is the service available?

Pre-operative Assessment Clinics are currently open from 9:00 to 18:00 (Monday – Friday).

Where is the service provided?

Pre-operative Assessment Clinic is based at:

2nd Floor London Wing
Blue Zone
Croydon University Hospital

Department contact details:
Telephone:     02084013000 ext. 4778



Please bring a list of current medication with you.

If you have a medical alert card or medical implant e.g. pacemaker, it is important to bring these details with you to show the nurse.

Please note that friends and relatives are not permitted to interpret for you during your assessment. Therefore if your English is limited or if you need the services of a sign-language interpreter please contact Book Admission Office on 02084013320 as soon as possible so that an interpreter can be arranged.