Pre-Operative Assessment Clinic (PAC)


The Pre-Operative Assessment Clinic (PAC) provides a holistic based assessment for all patients coming in for major orthopaedic surgery.  Assessments are carried out prior to surgery allowing sufficient time for investigations and treatment to be carried out in order to prevent unnecessary delays and cancellations. High standards of care continue to be the main goal of the Pre-Operative Assessment Clinic. 

Every patient attending CNOH, for orthopaedic surgery requiring an anaesthetic, receives some form of assessment. All patients are sent a medical questionnaire in order to determine which form of pre-operative assessment they may need if any.

Patients who attend PAC are reviewed by the Consultant Anaesthetist, Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapist, Nurse, Phlebotomist and in some cases the patient may need to be seen by the Social Worker who will come and review the patient in PAC.

Some patients may not require anaesthetic assessment and will attend our Nurse Led Pre-Assessment Clinic (NLC).

Some patients may not need to attend for pre-operative assessment as the medical questionnaire may provide sufficient information.

Summary of Services Provided

  • Every Medical questionnaire returned is reviewed and the patient’s assessment pathway is decided.
  • All patients coming in for major joint replacement surgery or spinal surgery are assessed in the anaesthetic led clinic(PAC) or nurse led clinic (NLC).
  • Any patient that is a high risk either medically or anaesthetically are referred to PAC.
  • Any patient for minor surgery that have a significant medical history may need to be referred to PAC. 
  • Telephone triage all patients prior to attending PAC to improve the efficiency of the PAC clinic and reduce the number of patients who do not attend.
  • Paediatric patients coming in for major orthopaedic surgery are also assessed in PAC.
  • If patients are having major hip replacement the Clinical Nurse Specialist from the Bone Bank may review them in PAC.
  • All patients are given verbal and written information about their forthcoming surgery and thus gives the patient an opportunity to express any fears or concerns.

Aims of the Pre-Operative Assessment Clinics are:

  • Identify an appropriate patient assessment pathway to surgery
  • To become more effective and efficient in delivering patient centred care.
  • To minimise patient risk
  • To provide information for informed choices and consent
  • To improve the patient’s hospital experience
  • To inform patients of what they can do to improve their health and outcomes of surgery.
  • To introduce early discharge planning
  • Increase productivity in both the Nurse Led Clinic and PAC
  • Free up capacity within PAC to enable the clinic to assess more complex medical and social needs, facilitating better discharge planning and shorter lengths of stay.
  • Answer patient queries, informing the patients about their surgery and in some cases may eliminate their need to attend PAC.

Important Information

  • Assessment may take between 4-5hrs for PAC clinic and approx 2hrs for Nurse Led Clinic
  • Pre-assessment is valid for 5 months pending any change in patient’s health.
  • The Admissions Department is responsible for allocating appointments for PAC and dates for admission for surgery.

Hours of Service

Monday – Friday: 9.00am – 4.00pm

Contact Information

Ms Maeve Colligan
Clinical Nurse Manager II
Phone: +353 (1) 8140 407
Fax: +353 (1) 8140 378
maeve [dot] colligan [at] cappagh [dot] ie

Mission Statement

We are inspired by the love of Catherine McAuley and the Sisters of Mercy.

We strive to Care for all patients with excellence, Cherish the uniqueness of each person and Treat them with compassion, love and integrity.

We are constantly challenged to meet the needs of our times in all aspects of care, through ongoing education and research.