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Pre-assessment clinic

Coming to a pre-assessment clinic can be different to any other appointments your child might have had before. Here is some information that will help you prepare for the pre-assessment clinic.

We recommend that you watch our specially created films about pre-assessment and the day of the operation with your child to help them understand what will happen when they come to hospital. 

What happens before your operation – video transcript

Hi, I'm Nathan and I'm going to be taking you through the pre-assessment procedure here at Evelina London Children's Hospital. Let's go inside. This is the main reception area for Evelina London Children's Hospital. Upon arrival check in with our friendly staff. You must keep your red book with you at all times. Your mum and dad will be asked to fill in a questionnaire while you wait for your appointment with the senior nursing assistant. And this is the best bit, the kids get to go and have a play!

What happens next in the first clinic room is that they'll measure you, weigh you and take your blood pressure using one of these funny looking things. It wraps around your arm and hugs it really tight, giving the senior nursing assistant a magic number for your red book. The senior nursing assistant will then put an SPO2 on your finger, or as I like to call them, a peg. Then you have to balance a little stick under your arm, which is easy. And then they'll try to tickle your nose and legs with some cotton wool. Finally you get a sticker which is awesome!

So here we are in another clinic room. Here they'll examine and you, and they'll listen to your heart with a stethoscope. Then, they'll take a look inside your mouth so I hope you've cleaned your teeth! Then you might need to have a blood test, possibly an ECG and an X-ray. But the friendly staff will show you where to go and what happens next.

So, after you've had all your tests done you can go home. In the next few days, mum and dad will receive a letter informing them of when the operation will take place and on which ward. You will also receive information about when your child can last eat and drink. It is really important for your child's safety that these instructions are followed. If your child is ill near the day of the operation you must inform us right away.


What is a pre-assessment clinic?

If your child needs to have an operation, or any planned test involving a general anaesthetic, you will be asked to attend a pre-assessment clinic.

At this appointment, we will make sure your child is fit for their general anaesthetic. You will also be given information about what will happen on the day of your child’s operation or planned test before their hospital stay. You and your child will get the chance to ask any questions you want.

Please make sure you bring a list of any medication that your child may be taking, including any over-the-counter or alternative medicines.

During your appointment

A specialist nurse or nursing assistant will meet you and your child, check your child’s medical history and take down any information needed before your child can have their operation or planned test.

The nurse or nursing assistant will take your child’s blood pressure, pulse, temperature and oxygen levels as well as measuring their height and weight. They will also take swabs; this is routine and checks for any infections that might affect your child’s operation or planned test. If necessary, your child will also have a physical examination which you may be present for.

Please allow at least one to two hours for your appointment as your child may need additional tests. These tests may include:

If your child needs any of these tests but it isn’t possible to do them on the day of your appointment, we will arrange them for another time before your child’s stay in hospital.

After your appointment

If you have any questions after your appointment, please contact the lead nurse for pre-assessment. To do this, call the hospital switchboard on 020 7188 7188 and dial extension 56222.

If your child is unwell at any point in the seven days leading up to their operation or planned test, please let us know. Call the bed manager on 020 7188 7188 and choose the option for the bleep desk. Once you are connected, dial bleep number 0821 and wait for a response. This number can be reached 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

How to find us

Ground floor, South Wing, Block B
St Thomas' Hospital
Westminster Bridge Road
London SE1 7EH

Map of Ground Floor, South Wing (PDF 138Kb)

Reception tel: 020 7188 7188 ext. 56225


Lead nurse for pre-assessment

Tel: 020 7188 7188, extension 56222.

Bed manager

Tel: 020 7188 7188

Choose the option for the bleep desk.
Once connected, dial bleep number 0821 and wait for the response. This number can be contacted 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

What is a general anaesthetic?

This means that your child will be going to sleep for their operation or planned test.

More information can be found on our general anaesthetic leaflet (PDF 77Kb)

British Medical Association Patient Information Award

The films Pre-assessment and Operations: What to Expect at Evelina London were awarded Runner-Up at the 2017 Patient Information Awards.

BMA Patient information awards runner up

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