An outstanding experience for every patient

Pre-operative Assessment Unit (POAU) 

The pre-operative assessment unit is a nurse-led clinic that specialises in preparing patients for planned surgery.

A pre-operative assessment is performed on all patients who are having a surgical procedure performed under anaesthetic.

The type of pre-operative assessment offered depends on the nature of the planned operation and whether you have underlying medical problems.

The types of assessment range from a review of your GP electronic record and health screening questionnaire, to a face to face appointment with a specialist Pre-operative Assessment Nurse or Consultant Anaesthetist.

Patients attending for face to face Pre-operative assessment appointments in preparation for Gynaecology or breast procedures may also be asked to attend the relevant outpatient clinic immediately prior too or following their pre-operative assessment. Information about this will be provided in the clinic letter if required.

Actions for all patients:

  1.  All patients must complete the health screening questionnaire accessed through the link below.
    It is very important for your own safety that you return this questionnaire; failure to do so may result in your procedure being cancelled.
    To access the questionnaire, please click this link:
  2. Please send the completed form to

Guide to completing the questionnaire

  1. You can choose from the options below:
    Download the document and then complete it electronically
    Click on link and click on “Open”
    a. Fill in the health screening questionnaire
    b. Either
       i. Save the file on your computer
      ii. Attach to an email addressed to


  2. Download the document and complete it by hand

If using Microsoft Word you can click “File” and then “Save and Send” to

Download the document and complete it by hand

a. Print the questionnaire
b. Fill it out as legibly as possible
c. Take a photo of it or scan it in to a computer
d. Attach the file to an email addressed to   

The Pre-Operative Assessment Unit nurses will review the above screening form when they receive it back from you and will only contact you if they require further information about your health or if you need a further review. If changes to your medication are required preoperatively instructions will be provided by post, phone or given to you in person if you are asked to attend for further review.

Reasons for needing to come in to hospital for further review include:

  • Swabs, including Covid-19, MRSA
  • Blood tests
  • ECG
  • Urine sample
  • Echocardiography
  • Face to face clinic appointment with nurse or consultant.

If asked to attend an assessment clinic appointment

The length of your appointment will depend on the type of appointment that you need.

  • A pre-operative screen with a Nursing Assistant takes approximately 30 minutes.
  • A face to face appointment with a specialist Pre-operative Assessment Nurse may take up to 2 hours depending on if you need to be seen by more than one specialist nurse or clinician.
  • A Consultant Anaesthetist appointment usually takes approximately one hour.

Please bring with you

  • Reading glasses if you need them, as we may give you some forms to fill in when you arrive
  • Any questions or concerns, ideally written down, so that we can answer them
  • A printed copy of your current medicine prescription or the tablets you are taking, including their strength and how often you take them.
  • A urine sample if you are being assessed for a Urology procedure

After the appointment

The Pre-Op team will make a plan for your care.

This may involve:

  • Stopping /starting some medication pre-operatively
  • Referral to other specialists for further information or optimisation of your health

Pre-Operative Assessment Unit Opening times

Monday to Friday 9.00am - 5.00pm

How to find us

Enter the hospital at entrance A. Parking is available in the visitors car parks at the rear of the site (car park 8 – pay on foot).

For patients using the bus service or being dropped off, please use the main entrance (level 3) .

Go up to level 4 by stairs or lift and cross over the link bridge. The Pre-Operative Assessment Unit is then immediately on your left.

How to contact us

  • To discuss appointments and dates for coming into hospital with the Booking team: 01722 345543. Email:
  • To speak to a Pre-Operative Assessment Unit receptionist: 01722 336262 Ext 4551
  • To return your health screening questionnaire or contact a nurse: Email :
  • To speak to a nurse: 01722 336262 Ext 2587
Page Last Updated: 13/07/2020 13:18 
Printed from Salisbury NHS Foundation Website