Your specialist will have arranged the date for your operation. You will be required to complete a Chelsea Hospital admission form, which needs to be presented at the hospital, at least seven days before your operation. It is important that you answer the questions in this form about your past and present health status as accurately and fully as possible. The nursing team and anaesthetist use this information to help them to plan your care. If any of the information changes prior to your admission please notify the hospital immediately.

Chelsea Hospital requires a list of current prescribed medications provided either by your GP or your pharmacist.

The day / evening prior to admission, patients will be telephoned and given their admission time and any relevant instructions.

(This is a Chelsea Hospital specific requirement – If you do not provide this information your surgery may be delayed or cancelled)

It is important that you:

  • Arrange for someone to collect you from the hospital on discharge, as you are not allowed to drive for 24 hours following a general anaesthetic or sedation, and ensure you have plenty of help at home while you recuperate.
  • If you are having a day stay procedure you will need a responsible adult with you to provide assistance overnight.
  • Do not wear make-up or nail polish on the day of admission.
  • Do not smoke, if you are a smoker, for at least 24 hours before surgery.
  • Avoid activities which may cause you to get cuts or scratches as this may result in your surgery being cancelled on the day due to infection risks.
  • Discuss with your surgeon any assistance you may need after your discharge. Your surgeon will notify Chelsea staff of any needs.  Alternatively feel free to contact the nursing staff to discuss this with them.


Your written consent for treatment is required. Your surgeon will provide you with information about your procedure/operation and explain the possible risks and effects before your admission.
If you have any concerns or questions raise these before your admission or at any stage during your stay.


You may need to be assessed by the anaesthetist before your admission. If this is the case Chelsea will contact you and provide an appointment before your admission date.

All patients are telephoned the day/ evening before surgery by one of our nurses. The nurse will conduct a telephone assessment, giving specific instructions regarding admission time; when to stop eating and drinking; and management of your regular medications. If you have any special requirements, requests or concerns, please raise them at this point or contact Chelsea at your convenience. We are usually only able to provide your admission time the evening before your surgery.

What you need to bring:

  • All your current medication in their original containers
  • Your health insurers company’s letter of  ‘prior approval’  (if applicable)
  • Glasses and other physical and personal aids (walking sticks, hearing aids etc)
  • Please note that you must have means to pay your account, if you do not have `prior approval’ you will be expected to pay either prior to admission, on admission, or to settle any outstanding amounts on departure from our hospital. See payment information.
  • Comfortable / Loose clothing ( sleepwear is not required for patients undergoing daystay procedure)
  • Any test results; X-rays or scans
  • The patient admission folder

Overnight stay or longer, please also bring:

  • Comfortable sleepwear, dressing gown, slippers or footwear and personal toiletries
  • Comfortable daywear to facilitate your early mobilisation
  • Reading material or other leisure activities

Bringing your child to Chelsea Hospital

  • Your child will be able to wear their own pyjamas to theatre/ Please ensure that you provide a clean pair
  • You are welcome to bring in a favourite toy or blanket and any other activities for your childs entertainment
  • On most occasions you will be able to accompany your child to theatre and remain with them while they go to sleep. You will be accompanied by a member of the theatre team who will provide guidance for you
  • Once your child wakes up, you may be called through to the recovery room to be with them.

To learn more about bringing your child to Chelsea, please take the time to read the leaflet in your admission pack or, ask for one from your specialist or nurse. You can download a copy here.  Bringing your child to Chelsea Hospital

Please DO NOT bring:

  • Any items of value including jewellery (except medic alert bracelets / pendants); cash or other personal items or equipment, as Chelsea Hospital Trust cannot take responsibility for their safe keeping and will not be liable for any loss or damage
  • Your vehicle, as you will be unable to drive following your procedure. We recommend that you organise transport to and from the hospital in advance

What to organise at home:

  • If you live alone, you will need to arrange for an adult person to stay with you for a few days after your discharge, particularly for your first night home following a general anaesthetic or sedation
  • If you provide care for other dependents, you may need to make alternative arrangements for them
  • Many people are surprised by how long it takes to recover from surgery. It is common to feel very tired
  • If you expect to have your mobility reduced following surgery, you might consider relocating to a more accessible room in your house

Surgical Site Surveillance Programme

Chelsea Hospital Trust is committed to providing high quality care for our patients. As part of our commitment we are required under the Health and Disability Services (Safety) Act 2001 and Standards to carry out a routine Surgical Site Surveillance Programme. Your nurse will let you know if your procedure falls under our current Surgical Site Surveillance Programme.

The Risk of Blood Clots

Following an operation the risk of developing a blood clot in your legs or lungs increases. There are a number of ways to reduce this risk. As part of Chelsea Hospitals commitment to providing the highest quality of care, we have the `Gold Standard’ of best practice in the prevention of VTE (Venous Thrombo-Embolism or blood clots), which includes the implementation of a comprehensive assessment tool, access to the latest prevention devices, and ongoing patient education and awareness programme.

One way that you can reduce your risk is by staying as mobile and active as possible after your operation. Your specialist and our nurses will guide you on how best to achieve this.

To learn more about Blood Clots, please take the time to read the ‘Blood Clots and You’ leaflet in your admission pack or, ask for one from your specialist or nurse. You can download a copy here

What to Expect

Day of Surgery

  • Our nurse will have phoned you the day /evening before. Follow the instructions given to you regarding eating (this includes avoiding chewing gum and sweets), and drinking and taking medications.
  • Please shower and wash your hair. If you were given Chlorhexidine Pre-op wash, please use this as directed.
  • Remove any nail polish, make up and jewellery.

Admission to Hospital

On arrival please report to the main reception at Chelsea Hospital. A nurse will collect and escort you to the admission room to prepare you for your procedure and complete your admission. You will be seen by both your specialist, and your anaesthetist, who will discuss your care with you prior to your procedure. You may also discuss any queries, concerns and pesonal requirements at this time.

We request that if you have a cellphone, this is set to vibrate / silent as a courtesy to staff and other patients.

If you have any additional cultural, spitual or emotional needs please advise the nurse accordingly.

During your stay you are welcome to:

  • Request a visit from your Minister, or alternatively request that Chelsea contact one for you
  • Request a visit from a Kaumatua
  • Have your body parts / tissue returned to you. You will be asked if you want them returned. Staff will provide advice on collection procedures.
  • Have an advocate or support person present

The Nurse will ask many questions during admission; assess your VTE risk, and ask you to change into theatre clothing.

An Anaesthetic Technician or nurse will collect you from the admission room and take you through to theatre for your procedure.

Our admission room and day stay lounge are designed to meet the needs of patients admitted for procedures not requiring an overnight stay. If you are going home on the day of surgery, you will be returned to the day lounge following your operation. You will be given some light refreshments prior to changing into your own clothes in preparation for your discharge. Nursing staff will inform you when you are ready to leave and will contact someone to collect you. A private room can be made available for day stay patients on request.

Our checking procedures

To ensure your safety during your stay, you will be asked several times to confirm your personal details. Your surgeon, anaesthetist and nursing staff also take time to complete a comprehensive final check immediately prior to your surgery.

Your anaesthetist

Your anaesthetist is a highly trained doctor.  They spend six years obtaining their medical degree then spend another seven years completing exams and practical experience before qualifying as a specialist anaesthetist.  This experience includes all types of anaesthesia plus other specialised training to support this role.

You will meet with your anaesthtist on the day of your surgery or procedure and be assessed, or you may be required to meet them prior to the day of surgery or procedure for an assessment.

Your anaesthetist is responsible for looking after you before surgery, during surgery and after your surgery.  They provide the best pain management possible.  They will work with you to create a plan for your operation or procedure that you are both happy with.

The type of anaesthesia that you require will depend on the type, location and length of your surgery.

  • General Anaesthesia – You are put into a state of unconsciousness for the whole operation.  This involves an injection of special drugs or breathing a special gas to anaesthetise you.  You will be unaware of what is happening but the anaesthetist and his trained technician will always be with you monitoring your condition.
  • Regional Anaesthesia – A nreve block numbs the part of the body where the surgeon operates.  This is often for orthopaedic surgery.  Examples of some of these used at Chelsea are spinal anaesthetic, arm block and eye blocks.  A local anaesthetic is injected near the nerve pathways to the part of your body that is being operated on to keep you comfortable.  This may be used with general anaesthetic to provide post-op pain releif or you may be given drugs to make you sleepy and relaxed during the operation (monitored sedation).
  • Local Anaesthesia – A local anaesthetic is injected at the operation site to cause numbness. You will be awake.
  • Monitored Sedation – Your anaesthetist uses a special range of drugs to keep you comfortable and sleepy during your procedure.

To learn more about your anaesthetic, please take the time to read the leaflet in your admission pack or, ask for one from your specialist or nurse. You can download a copy here. Your Anaesthetic

After your procedure

You will wake up in the recovery room, and from here be transferred to the appropriate room. After the procedure you will be offered refreshments and given adequate time to recuperate before dressing and returning home if you are having a day stay procedure.

If your procedure requires an overnight stay, or longer, then you will be cared for in your own room following surgery.

Before you leave the specialist and nurses will advise you of what to expect as you recover.

You will be given an information sheet with discharge instructions and follow-up doctor’s appointment.

Pain relief

Adequate pain relief is important. If you do experience any discomfort please call the nurse for assistance.

Preparing for discharge

In agreement with the doctors’ instructions, the nurse will assess the point at which you are ready to be discharged, and ensure all necessary documentation has been completed.

Please ensure that have made arrangements for someone to drive you home. We also recommend that you arrange for an adult to be with you for at least 24 hours following your return home. You will need to rest during this time, and you may want additional care at home.

A copy of your discharge summary will be sent to your GP so they are aware of what procedure you have had. If you have stayed overnight or longer, discharge is by 11.00 am. Fees may apply if discharge occurs later.

Before you leave the day stay lounge or ward, please ensure you have the following with you.

  • Your discharge summary, including insrtuctions from your Surgeon
  • Prescriptions you may be given, or any medications you brought with you.
  • Follow up appointment with your Doctor as necessary
  • Any necessary rehabilitation aids such as crutches

The first 24 hours after your operation

  • If you go home on the day of your operation, it is essential to have someone with you as the full effects of your anaesthetic may not wear off for 24 hours
  • For your safety (and the safety of others) DO NOT drive a vehicle or use machinery or potentially dangerous household appliances
  • Do not eat a heavy meal, drink alcohol or take sleeping pills
  • Do not make any important decisions or sign any legal documents
  • Do not lift heavy things or engage in strenuous exercise

Wound care

To learn more about your wound care, please take the time to read the leaflet in your admission pack or, ask for one from your specialist or nurse. You can download a copy here. Surgical Wounds

If you become unwell after you leave the Hospital and develop any of the  following signs and symptoms you may be developing a wound infection. If  you have any of the following:

  • Increased pain, redness or swelling in or around the wound
  • Excessive bleeding or wound ooze
  • Fever or chills
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Any othe signs or symptoms that concern you or your family/whanau
  • Pain swelling or tenderness in your calf or thigh
  • Chest pain and/ or breathlessness

Please call your Surgeon or General Practitioner


Your Rights

The Health and Disability Commission have developed a Code of Consumer Rights with which providers of health services must comply. These rights are displayed in the hospital waiting room and are available on request. Additionally they can be downloaded in different languages by visiting

If you feel we have breached your rights, in any way, please contact the hospital CEO to discuss. You are also able to contact the Commission directly on 0800 112 233.

Payment of account

You are advised to discuss the costs of your procedure with the specialist and Chelsea before admission. It may be advisable to seek separate price indications from all those who are likely to be involved in your care, e.g., Chelsea, your surgeon, anaesthetist, and any other independent health provider such as physiotherapist, occupational therapist, laboratory, radiology etc.

Accounts must be paid in some instances prior to admission or at admission.

If you have prior approval from your insurer or you are paying personally, following your discharge, you will receive separate accounts from each provider which you will need to pay or forward to your insurance company for payment depending on the terms of your policy.

You will receive accounts from:

  • Your specialist
  • Your anaesthetist (where applicable)
  • Chelsea Hospital Trust

Your hospital account may be paid using cash, cheque, Visa/MasterCard, EFTPOS or Internet Banking.

Please contact us during office hours if you have any questions relating to your hospital account or payments.

If the account is not paid in full within 30 days from date of invoice you may be charged interest calculated on the unpaid amount. Chelsea reserves the right to add all costs of collection in the event where an account is outstanding.


Your privacy is assured.

Any personal or health information we obtain about you is for the purposes of providing your treatment, for quality assurance activities and to fulfil legislative requirements.

Interpreter Services:

  • If you require this service please inform your surgeon, or Chelsea Hospital, prior to admission so that we can ensure an interpreter is available on your arrival.

·      Patient Feedback

  • Our aim is to provide you with excellent service and care. We appreciate your comments and suggestions as these assist us in identifying areas where we could improve our services. On discharge you will receive a patient satisfaction survey. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey, give it to staff on departure, leave it at reception or, post it back to Chelsea Hospital.