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Preparing for an operation

Before your child's procedure, you'll meet the surgical teamIf your child needs an operation, we’ll tell you at your appointment and we’ll arrange a suitable date. You may be asked to attend a pre-admission appointment to meet the surgical team and discuss any concerns.

Before your admission date it’s important to take a look at these things to do.

Safe Surgery at Alder Hey

World Health OrganisationKnowing your child needs an operation can be a distressing and anxious time. You’ll probably have many questions to ask and you’ll want to know that your child is receiving excellent care. Alder Hey is proud to be a World Health Organisation Safe Surgery Site and this means we’re extremely serious about performing surgery to the highest standards of safety.

Pre-admission clinics – an opportunity to meet the team

For some surgical procedures, you may be asked to attend a pre-admission clinic to help you understand your child’s operation and ask all the questions you need.

Who you can talk to if you have questions or need advice

On the day of an operation, you’ll have the opportunity to meet clinical staff involved in your child’s procedure.

Our clinicians understand you’ll have questions and concerns, and your first opportunity to discuss the operation will come at the outpatient appointment where we arrange the procedure.

Going to theatre

Find out more about what happens when it’s time for the operation.

Specific types of surgery

Our admission process can sometimes vary with certain types of operation:

Cardiac surgery

The cardiac team will invite you to a pre-admission clinic, usually on a Thursday, where you’ll meet the team including surgeons and liaison nurses. This is an opportunity to discuss your concerns, ask questions and find out more about the team who’ll be performing the surgery. We’ll also ask you to fill in some consent paperwork and you’ll have the opportunity to take a tour of your ward and the Intensive Care Unit.

If you’ve travelled to Alder Hey from outside Liverpool, you may be able to stay at Ronald McDonald House, a free accommodation facility on the hospital site.

Ear, nose and throat surgery (ENT)

Depending on the patient and procedure, ENT surgery can be performed as a day case or as an inpatient admission. If your child is coming for day case surgery, we may still ask you to come prepared to stay overnight.

You’ll receive all the information you need before the date of the operation and at the outpatient appointment where we schedule the procedure, you’ll have an opportunity to ask questions and raise any concerns. We also have a pre-admission clinic that we might ask you to attend if your child has other medical conditions.

Your admission letter will tell you where to go on the day of surgery.


Intra-operative 3-T MRI Scanner theatre suitePatients who are coming for neurosurgery will usually be admitted the day before their operation, and will follow the usual admissions procedure. This will also include any tests or scans that are needed before the operation, a pre-operation wash and you’ll be asked to sign a parental consent form.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call one of our specialist nurses on 0151 282 4492.

The neurosurgery operating theatre is equipped with Europe’s only intra-operative 3T MRI scanner, a pioneering technology that reduces the need for repeat surgery in 90% of cases.

After the operation, patients are moved to our High Dependency Unit (HDU) where they can be closely monitored.

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