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Pre-operative Assessment Clinic: NOC

This page is for the Pre-operative Assessment Clinic at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre and patients undergoing elective surgery for the following specialties.

The Pre-operative Assessment Clinic (POAC) is a nurse-led clinic that specialises in preparing patients for planned orthopaedic surgery.

You will come to this clinic if you are having an operation under general or regional anaesthetic.

We have two types of assessment.

Same day assessment (SDA)

This is for patients seen in the Outpatient Department where a decision is made to proceed with an operation.

The assessment can be carried out on the day of the outpatient appointment, and takes around an hour.

Unfortunately not all patients are appropriate for SDA, as it is depends on the patient's medical history and comorbidities.

Full pre-operative assessment

A full pre-operative assessment requires a separate appointment in the Outpatient Department patients should allow up to three hours. Patients see a range of clinical specialists and a specialist Pre-operative Assessment Nurse / Sister who ensure that they are in the best possible condition before surgery.

During the appointment we will measure your:

  • height
  • weight
  • Body Mass Index (BMI)
  • blood pressure (BP)
  • pulse
  • oxygen saturations.

If you are over 45 or have a history of heart problems, then we will take an electrocardiogram (ECG).

Depending on your operation, you may require a blood test.

If you are asthmatic, or suffer with COPD, you may require a spirometry.

We also take a methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) swab from the nose of every patient we admit for planned surgery, to minimise the risk of hospital acquired infection.

If you have concerns about managing at home after your surgery, an Occupational Therapist will see you and discuss support, such as providing equipment at home or identifying community services available.

If you have any questions about your surgery, a member of the surgical team may be in the Clinic, but not all surgical teams attend.

If you are having a joint (hip, knee, shoulder, elbow) replaced you will need to fill in some forms during the appointment:

  • Patient Reported Outcomes Measures (PROMs)
  • National Joint Registry (NJR)

What to bring

  • Reading glasses if required
  • An up-to-date list of any medication you are taking, or a copy of your repeat prescriptions
  • Your medication - if your appointment is booked for a time when you are due to take medication, please ensure you bring it with you, as we do not have a Pharmacy on site.
  • A snack, or money to buy a drink or food, especially if you are diabetic.

After your appointment

We will send you details of the nurse/sister who saw you in the Pre-operative Assessment clinic. You are welcome to contact them with any problems, concerns or queries you might have before your admission.

If necessary, we may ask you to visit your GP for some further tests, including:

  • blood pressure (BP) monitoring
  • repeat blood tests
  • diabetic checks or optimisation.

Planning for admission

Admission time on the day of surgery is 7.00am. We do not have capacity to admit patients the night before their surgery so please consider staying locally if you think it may be difficult to get here on time.

Please use the hospital postcode OX3 7HE to search for hotels or B&Bs close by.

If you would like to change your appointment please contact us.

Contact us

  • Pre-operative Assessment Clinic
    Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre
    Windmill Road
    Oxford OX3 7HE
  • Tel: 01865 738236 / 738089
  • Admissions team: 01865 738071
  • 8.00am – 5.30pm (please call after 2.00pm to speak to a nurse).


Research is carried out at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, and a research nurse or physiotherapist may ask you if you are interested in taking part.

For more information about research at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust please see:


Have your say

We would like to know your views about our service, so we can make our patients' experience better.

Please take a few moments to fill in our questionnaire:

Pre-Operative Assessment Patient Feedback Questionnaire

Last reviewed:19 April 2022