Once an admission date has been arranged for your treatment by your consultant’s secretary, you will receive a letter from us containing everything you need to know about your visit: from the time and date of the admission to any pre-treatment preparation and what you need to bring with you.

If you feel at all unclear about any aspect of your visit, please contact your consultant's secretary who will be able to provide you with all the help and information you need. If you are unable to attend the hospital at the arranged time, please contact your consultant's secretary to cancel or reschedule your admission date. Upon confirmation of your admission date, the first thing you need to do is contact your medical insurance company.

There are some occasions when patients are booked at very late notice by the consultant. In this instance you will not receive a letter from us in advance.

Contact your medical insurance company

Before admission, you need to inform your medical insurance company of your forthcoming treatment. This is necessary to confirm that your insurance policy covers the procedure and to set in motion the necessary procedures for payment. It is always advisable to liaise closely with your medical insurance company throughout your treatment to ensure peace of mind and a successful outcome without any financial concerns.

Obtain the necessary authorisation

Your medical insurance company will most likely provide you with a claim number and a claim form for you to complete. They will also advise you on the details of your policy, explaining whether there are any constraints or excesses that you need to be aware of.

Self Pay

More and more we are seeing patients who choose not to use independent medical insurance but to fund their surgery by paying for a package. The Alexandra Hospital offers a “help line” to discuss finance alternatives. If you are considering taking this route, then asked to be put through to the help line through the hospital switchboard ( 0161 428 3656 )

Pre Operative assessment

You should have been asked about any relevant background medical conditions, but it is  always wise to make sure that the team looking after you know about such conditions as diabetes, blood pressure, heart or chest disease etc

For all patients being admitted to hospital, for anything other than very minor procedures, common practice is to perform a preoperative assessment. This involves a brief examination and some tests to check there is no background medical problem which may interfere with the anaesthetic or the surgery. It is in everyone’s interest to make sure that a patient is as fit as possible for a planned surgical procedure. It also helps to avoid the unpleasant experience of discovering a significant problem on the day of surgery that necessitates cancellation.

As well as blood tests, swabs are taken to make sure that there are no significant infections in the skin which may cause problems with the surgery. If all is clear, your data surgery will be confirmed.

The preoperative nurse will also discuss with you which of your medication you can continue to take just before surgery. Drugs such as aspirin and warfarin (blood thinners) need to be discontinued for a period prior to surgery


Where possible, you will be admitted on the day of surgery, but occasionally admission the night before May be necessary.

If you are having surgery, the preparation varies slightly depending on the type of procedure you are having however, you may be required to remove all jewellery, false nails, nail varnish and make-up before the operation.

Unless your procedure is definitely being done under local anaesthetic, you should check about the required time to be starved prior to surgery. For a general anaesthetic and regional block (see anaesthetics) you should not have anything to eat or drink for six hours before the procedure. For many patients, this will involve a period of starving before you are even admitted to the hospital.


In general, 6 hours without food or drink is necessary before any surgery not conducted under local anaesthetic. Check with your consultant if not sure.

BEWARE, this includes no tea, coffee, milk , fruit juice or any coloured fluids, e.g., cola and cordials.

Although not strictly food, they have the same effect on the stomach as solid food and can cause anaesthetic problems

Clear water however is allowed, sips only ,up to 2 hours before an anaesthetic. If in doubt, check!

Medical Conditions and Medications

Special arrangements will be made for diabetic patients who are usually done first on the list.

You should also have been informed which of your tablets you can and cannot take on the day of surgery.

You will be visited prior to your procedure by the surgical and anaesthetic team. Your consent will be taken and your leg marked with an ink marker. This is a mandatory precaution taken for all patients and lets everyone know  is looking after you exactly which limb we are dealing with!

You are likely to be asked a number of questions over and over again. These are routine safety procedures done for all patients who come into hospital for operations.

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Pre-admission Insurance Authorisation Self Pay Pre-Op  Assessment Admission Starving Medical Conditions Patients Check List
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