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).
Once we have completed your pre-operative assessment, you will be asked to self-isolate for either 7 or 14 days. All other people living in your household must also isolate alongside you.

Self-isolating before a planned procedure

You must self-isolate before your treatment to reduce the risk of COVID-19 for you and for others also undergoing treatment or surgery. This means that you should not:

  • Leave your home to go to work, school, or public areas
  • Use public transport or taxis
  • Attend any gatherings, even with friends and families in private spaces e.g. family homes, weddings and religious services
  • Go out even to buy food or other essentials, unless absolutely necessary. When arranging food or medication deliveries, these should be left at the door to minimise contact

You should:

  • Use telephone or online services if you need to contact your GP or other essential services
  • Regularly wash your hands and ask carers or support workers who visit your home to also wash their hands
  • Avoid touching your face

Anyone who lives with you will need to do this same. If members of your household go to work or you have children who go to school and are unable to self-isolate, you should reduce all non-essential contact with them and all other members of your household.

Reducing non-essential contact with other members of your household

You can reduce contact with other members of your household by:

  •  Minimising the time you spend in shared spaces (such as kitchens, bathrooms and sitting areas) and keep these shared spaces well ventilated
  • Maintaining some social distancing with other people you live with by keeping 2 metres apart (3 steps) and encouraging them to sleep in a different bed where possible
  • Avoid using your kitchen when other’s in the household are present and if possible take your meals back to your room to eat 
  • Use a dishwasher to clean and dry used crockery and cutlery but if this is not possible, wash them using your usual washing-up liquid and water and dry them thoroughly
  • If you are using your own utensils, remember to use a separate tea towel for drying these

If you can, use a separate bathroom from the rest of the household, or if you share a toilet and bathroom with others:

  • Use separate towels from the other people in your house, both for drying yourself after bathing or showering and for hand-hygiene purposes
  • Consider drawing up a bathing rota. You should schedule yourself to use the facilities first
  • Ensure that the toilet and bathroom are cleaned every time after use. Wipe surfaces you all have come into contact with such as taps, handles,and countertops

Further information about the steps to take to self-isolate is available here on the Government’s website.

What happens next?

You will be tested for coronavirus three days before your procedure date. 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 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.

Children’s COVID-19 testing may be completed in a paediatric area. Your clinical team will confirm this for you.

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.

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.

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.