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Wirral University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Pre-op Assessment

To ensure your fitness for surgery you will have a pre-op assessment. If you do not have this your planned procedure cannot take place. 

An initial assessment may be carried out straight after your clinic appointment or by telephone at another time. Your appointment letter will inform you if you have a telephone assessment and what the arrangements are. Patients who are assessed over the telephone will still need to attend to have blood pressure, height and weight checked. Some patients also need blood tests, swabs or an ECG (electrocardiogram which is a paper tracing of your heart beat).


Before your assessment

If you do not have a home computer or phone suitable for video conferencing please ask any friends and family if they can help you with this.  If local COVID-19 guidance allows friends and family may be able to help set this up on the day to reduce your COVID-19 exposure travelling to and from hospital.

To assist the staff with your assessment, please:

  • Bring a list of your current medications.
    This can be an up to date prescription from your General Practitioner or the actual medications in their boxes.
  • If you are having a joint replacement bring your dental letter.
    Your dentist must confirm that your mouth and gums are healthy and free from infection before your surgery can take place.
  • Identify someone able to escort you home after your operation and stay with you for 24 hours.
    Surgery will be cancelled if we cannot discharge you home safely

Where to go

Pre-operative assessments are performed at both Arrowe Park and Clatterbridge Hospitals. Your appointment letter will inform you which hospital you are booked in for your assessment. 

At Arrowe Park, the pre-operative assessment unit is situated in clinic 9 within the main outpatients on the ground floor of the hospital, turning right at the main entrance.

At Clatterbridge, the pre-operative assessment unit is in the main Out-Patient department.


What happens when you arrive

You will be greeted by the receptionist in the Pre-Operative Assessment Unit who will check your details are correct. You will then be asked to fill in a health questionnaire, and the nursing staff will go through your answers with you to determine whether further assessment is required.


  • blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen levels
  • nose, groin and rectal swabs to detect bacteria which may cause infections
  • some patients require blood tests or an ECG (heart monitor)

The assessment may take between 10 minutes and a few hours dependent upon your individual needs. You may wish to bring a book and diabetic patients should bring something to eat and drink.

Further assessment

Some patients also need to be assessed by a Consultant Anaesthetist. Where possible assessments are carried out by telephone or video to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19. However, a few patient may still need to be seen in the clinic.