The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

About Pre-assessment

 Useful information on what your pre-assessment might involve.


What happens during a pre-assessment? 

If you are undergoing elective surgery you will need to attend the preoperative assessment clinic before you are admitted to hospital. The main aim is to determine your fitness for surgery and anaesthesia, and organise any necessary preoperative investigations. These may include:

• ECG (heart tracing)
• taking blood samples
• pulmonary function tests (breathing tests)
• advice on support available to stop smoking

This helps us identify whether you are fit for surgery and reduces the risk of something going wrong. If you are not currently fit for surgery, but could be after some adjustments to your treatments or lifestyle, you will also be offered advice and support. This helps prevent unnecessary cancellations and wasted theatre slots. The process generally helps to make the provision of elective surgery more efficient.

We will also provide you with written information about your planned operation.

Depending on your health and fitness, the assessment process at Wharfedale can take up to one and a half hours, so please make sure you have allowed enough time in your day.


What should I bring with me to a pre-assessment? 

Please bring with you:

  • Your glasses, if you wear them, as there are some forms that you will be asked to fill in.
  • A prescription list of your medications (if you take any). We will photocopy this for our records.
  • Your GP’s contact details, including telephone number.
  • If you are diabetic bring your medication and a light snack.


What happens after a pre-assessment? 

After a satisfactory completion of the assessment and the return of all required test results, your name will be added to the Active Waiting List until a date for your operation is decided upon.

Occasionally some patients may require further tests, or test results may register as abnormal, in which case your name would not be added to the Active Waiting List.
In these circumstances you will be asked to return to your general practitioner (GP) for the problem to be investigated and treated.
Some problems can be investigated and treated in a much shorter space of time and in these circumstances we allow three weeks for the problem to be treated before your name is added to the Active Waiting List.


What if I can’t make my appointment? 

If you need to cancel your appointment, please provide a minimum of 24 hours’ notice, so we can offer your appointment slot to somebody else. You can contact us here.

If you cancel your appointment twice in a row we will refer you back to the consultant for a decision on future treatment. Unless there are exceptional circumstances, you will be discharged back to your GP.

Patients who do not attend their appointment without giving prior notice will be referred back to the consultant for a decision on future treatment. The consultant can re-refer to pre-operative assessment only in exceptional circumstances. The majority of patients will be discharged back to their GP.


What can I do to prepare for my operation? 

You can improve your health prior to your operation by making important changes to your lifestyle:

  • If you smoke, you could cut down on the amount you smoke or even stop altogether.
  • If you are overweight, you could try to lose some weight through diet and/or exercise.
  • If you drink a lot of alcohol, you could try and reduce the amount you drink.
  • If you are physically able, you could improve your fitness through an exercise regime.