The Trust

Pre - operative assessment service

The Preoperative Assessment Service is based within the main building at Macclesfield Hospital and is part of the Surgical Specialties service line.

A pre- operative assessment is performed on all patients who are going to have an operation or a surgical procedure performed under a general anaesthetic. Assessments are sometimes carried out on patients who are having their surgery performed under a local anaesthetic.

All the appointments have a set time and due to the limited waiting space available for our patients you are asked to arrive no earlier than 5 minutes before your appointment time. The small waiting area is only provided for patients waiting for appointments; we have a paging coaster system that we provide for your relative or friend to allow them to wait in a more comfortable area within the hospital. This system has provided our patients with the confidence that their personal and confidential information are protected during their assessment.

Our services


Our services

The pre-operative assessment appointment can take up to one hour depending on the type of operation that you are having; all patients will have a swab taken from their nose to test for MRSA.

If this test shows that you have MRSA the Preoperative Assessment Service will contact you and will give you treatment to use before coming into hospital for your operation to help reduce the presence of MRSA on your skin.

Some of the tests that you may need include blood tests, an ECG or trace of the heart and chest x-ray. At the start of the assessment the Specialist Nurse will let you know how long the assessment will take and which tests will be performed.

It is very helpful to bring along a copy of your prescription or the tablets you are taking so that an accurate record can be made in preparation for your admission.

You will also be assessed for your risk of developing a blood clot; the specialist nurses use a form which is checked again on the day of your admission to make sure that there have been no changes that may affect your recovery. Some patients are more at risk of developing a blood clot and may require treatment before they come into Hospital and this treatment may need to be continued for some time after the operation has taken place.

Our team



Elaine Barnes

Lead Nurse Preoperative Assessment Service

Elizabeth Duncan

Nurse Practitioner

Linda Grooms

Specialist Nurse Assessor

Neil Jeff

Specialist Nurse Assessor

Eva Neill

Specialist Nurse Assessor

Penny Lloyd

Specialist Nurse Assessor

Catherine Lloyd

Specialist Nurse Assessor

Gillian Ashton

Assistant Practitioner

Susan Barton

Clerical Assistant

Jackie Hilditch

Clerical Assistant

Opening times

The service is open from Monday - Thursday 7.15am – 19.15pm and on Fridays from 7.15am – 17.15pm.

How do I refer/access the service?

You will be referred automatically by the Doctor who lists you for your operation or procedure. Wherever possible the service will try and provide you with a choice of day and time to attend for your appointment. The service also offers some appointments on the same day as the outpatient appointment so be prepared to be able to stay a little bit longer.

Who will I see?

You will see a specialist nurse assessor who has been specially trained to carry out your assessment and request any tests that you may need before coming into hospital.  

How to find us

The Preoperative Assessment Suite is based on the top floor of Macclesfield District General Hospital, opposite wards 1 and 2 where the vast majority of patient assessments are carried out.


Q. What is a pre-operative assessment?

A. This is an assessment that is carried out to make sure that you are fit enough to have your operation performed under a general anaesthetic. A specialist nurse will ask you some questions about your health, take a blood sample if required, a swab from both your nostrils to test for MRSA, use a stethoscope to listen in to your chest and record an ECG or trace of your heart.

Q. How long will it take?

A. It will take up to an hour depending on which operation you are having and the number of questions and tests that are required to assess for fitness.

Q. Do I need to bring anything with me?

A. A list of your tablets or your prescription, a list of any allergies you are aware of, contact numbers for your next of kin.

Q. Can I have anything to eat and drink before the assessment?

A. You can eat and drink as usual.

Q. How many people can I bring with me?

A. We have a very small waiting area which is for patients only, but if you need someone to stay with you then we would request that you only bring one person with you unless you require the support of carers.

Q. How confidential is my information?

A. We take your personal information very seriously and that is why we have restricted the waiting area to patients only to prevent any information being over-heard by other people.

Q. What happens if you find that I have MRSA?

A. You will receive a letter or a telephone call from us and we will make arrangements to see you in the Pre-op Suite to give you some treatment before coming in for your operation. This is called suppression treatment.

Q. What happens if something is wrong with my blood samples?

A. It depends on what the result shows and sometimes further tests or treatment is needed before you can have your surgery. The Nurses will let you know and will contact your GP.

Q. What happens if my surgery is postponed?

A. You may be asked to come back for a blood test or the MRSA test to be repeated.

Q. What happens if I need a test called an echocardiogram?

A. This is a special heart test that is carried out by the Cardio-Respiratory Department. If it is requested then the test has to be carried out before you can have your operation. A copy of that test result is sent to your GP.

Q. What happens if there is something wrong with the echocardiogram?

A. One of the specialist nurses in the Pre-operative Assessment Service will contact you to let you know if there is a problem and will tell you what the next step will be. This may mean that you will need to be seen by one of the consultant cardiology doctors at Macclesfield who specialise in heart problems.

Q. The consultant told me that I need to see an Anaesthetist before they will put my name on the waiting list for an operation, what does that mean and how long will that take?

A. Your consultant will write to the consultant anaesthetist and you will be seen in the Pre-operative Assessment Suite by them. It usually takes a couple of weeks to organise the appointment and they may request tests to be carried out before making a final decision. If they agree to carry out your anaesthetic you will still require a Pre-operative Assessment.

Q. Do you provide ambulance transport?

A. No we do not provide any transport.

Q. Are there any toilet facilities in the Pre-op Suite?

A. No. The closest toilet facility is located by the restaurant.

Q. Do I need to provide a urine sample?

A. No. You do not need to provide a sample.

How to contact us

The Pre-op Assessment Service can be contacted on 01625 661088. An answer phone is available as the telephone is not manned all day. Please note that messages are listened to throughout the day but you may not be contacted until the next day due to availability of clerical staff.

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