My name's Catherine Andrews,

My name's Catherine Andrews,
I'm a registered nurse

and I'm the lead nurse
for preoperative assessment

at Chelsea and Westminster
Foundation Trust.

As part of your outpatient preparation
for theatre,

for coming for an operation,

you almost certainly will be asked
to visit a preoperative assessment unit.

The reason for this
is to reduce your risks

and to do any tests or investigations
that we need to

before you come for your operation.

We deliver pre-op assessments
in three ways,

by telephone, by email

or by a visit to a nurse or a doctor
in the hospital.

These generally take up to an hour.

During your visit,
if you come in to see us,

you may have some investigations done

and we'll ask you
about your medical history.

General history, any operations you've
had before, any problems you've had.

Also we'll ask you about
any medications that you're taking,

so it's important to remember
to bring the list with you.

People who are younger and fitter
and having minor surgery,

we will offer them the option of having
their information sent to them by email.

This includes instructions
on when to stop eating and drinking,

which is very important before surgery.

Examples of the tests you might have
as an outpatient are blood tests.

We might do a swab from your skin
which we use

to identify whether or not you have MRSA
before you come into hospital.

We may do a special test of your heart,

which involves using leads and taking
the electricity your heart puts out.

This is called an ECG.

All of these things are done
at your preoperative assessment visit.

We know that coming into hospital
for an operation is a scary business

and during your outpatient visit
to preoperative assessment

we will aim to give you as much
information as you need or want

and also to reassure you about coming in

and try and allay any fears or anxieties
that you have.

You don't need to bring anything with
you other than your list of medications

and the rest of it will be talking or
any investigations that we need to do.