What you need to know about surgery pre-admission

Common questions asked by patients and families

Q. What is a pre-admission appointment?

A. It is a visit to the hospital to meet a nurse who will help you and your child prepare for your procedure. We will help to make sure you are ready and informed for when you come into hospital. The pre-admission service sees patients between 9am – 4:30pm Monday to Saturday. If you need to contact us (0121 333 9543) we are open between 8am and 6pm.

Q. Do I have to attend?

A. Yes, because we want to make sure you are fit for your procedure and that all the proper arrangements have been made. If everything is in place, it's less likely your operation will be delayed or cancelled.

Q. Can the pre-assessment be done over the phone?

A. If you live a long way from the hospital, pre-assessment can sometimes be done over the phone. Please call us to see if this is possible.

Q. Where do I go for my pre-admission appointment?

A. We are in the Outpatients Department. If you walk in through the main hospital entrance, immediately turn right and you will see a sign saying Outpatients Department. Then ask for us at the help desk.

Q. What happens if I can't come to my appointment?

A. Please call us and we will try to rearrange your appointment to a better time for you. Let us know as soon as possible so that we can put someone else into your old slot.

Q. Can I eat and drink before coming to my appointment?

A. Yes, that's fine. You're only coming into hospital to prepare for your operation. But we will chat to you about what happens on the day of your operation.

Q. How long will my appointment take?

A. Between 30 and 60 minutes. However if you need to have a blood test you may have to wait longer. 

Q. Is there anywhere to park?

A. There is a nearby NCP car park. Click here for further information.

Q. Do I have to bring anything?

A. Please bring along any medicines your child is taking. If they are under 5 years of age please also bring the red "medical book".

Q. Can I bring my brothers and sisters?

A. They are welcome to come along however if they are very young we advise to bring along a friend or family member that could look after them. This allows us to focus on preparing you and your parents.

Q. I haven't told my child about their operation. Can this be done during the pre-admission appointment?

A. We are always open and honest with children. If you want us to, our nurses can explain to your child what is going to happen to them.

Q. My child is too young to understand what the operation is about. Does he/she have to come in?

A. Yes. The nurses will need to meet your child in order examine them, take height and weight measurements, make sure they are fit for surgery and carry out any necessary tests.

Q. How will I go to sleep for my operation?

A. Please see below for leaflets explaining "special sleep" for younger children and teenagers.

Q. Will I wake up during my operation?

A. There is a doctor that will look after you while you are asleep. An anaesthetist will explain more about how they will keep you asleep during your operation. Please see below to for more information.

Q. Will the operation be painful?

A. It may be uncomfortable but the nurses will give medicines to help. We will give you medicines to go home with too. Please see below for more information.

Q. Will I have to stay in hospital overnight when I have the operation?

A. This will depend on the kind of operation you're having and how fit you are. We'll be able to answer this question during your pre-admission appointment, so please remember to ask us when you come.

Q. If I have to stay overnight after the operation, can Mum or Dad sleep with me on the ward?

A. Yes. This can easily be arranged. Just get your mum or dad to speak to the nurse.

Q. Do we need to attend if I had operations before?

A. Yes, because there might be changes since your last operation. If you are coming in for the same procedure you had previously we may be able to do the assessment over the telephone. Please contact us (0121 333 9543) to see if this is possible.

Q. Will I need to have a blood test?

A. It depends on the operation and your medical history but we will be able to answer that at your appointment.

Click on the links below for a selection of downloadable PDF attachments which provide information about anaesthesia for children and young people.

Anaesthesia Comic3.46 MB
Anaesthesia Story3.32 MB
Anaesthesia Guide for Young People310.67 KB
Easy-read pictograms about pre-admission191.18 KB

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