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Elective Surgery Access Unit

What is the Elective Surgery Access Unit?

Nurses and waiting list booking clerks register, triage and book all elective surgical procedures to the Elective Surgery Waiting list in accordance with the Department of Health Elective Surgery Access Policy. This streamlines the process for elective surgery admissions and for all patients on the waiting list.

Staff assess a patient's health prior to their planned or booked surgery and if necessary organise appointments with other specialists, further tests and investigations (including cardio-respiratory stress testing). This ensures patients are in the best possible condition, both physically and mentally to undergo their anaesthetic and surgical procedure.

The unit book patients' procedures in accordance with their clinical urgency timeframes that have been allocated by the surgeons, some of these procedures may be completed at Epworth Waurn Ponds as a part of the public-in-private contract Barwon Health has in place. The Elective Surgery Access Unit will provide patients with information on Epworth if their surgery is deemed appropriate for referral.

The unit will provide patients with all preoperative instructions regarding medication management, tests, fasting, admission instructions and educational material prior to their surgery and also help organise and coordinate a patient's discharge from hospital so that any help that may be required at home can be arranged as early as possible.

The unit can liaise with the many other clinical support services to ensure that all possible assistance is provided to the patient and their family from the point of consent, to surgery and after discharge from the hospital, for example:

  • Home Referral Service
  • District Nursing and Council services
  • Physiotherapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Speech Pathology
  • Dietician if required whilst an inpatient
  • Diabetes Referral Centre
  • Acute pain service while you are inpatient
  • Stomal Therapy
  • Breast Cancer Support
  • Cancer Care Coordinator
  • Social Work
  • Continence Nurse

What to bring on day of surgery

  • All medicines that you are currently taking. Please ensure you take all your medications unless instructed otherwise.
  • Any relevant x-rays you have
  • Glasses and a glasses case
  • Hearing aid and its case
  • Medicare and/or concession card
  • If staying overnight, a small bag with pyjamas and toiletries

What not to bring

Do not bring any valuables such as wallet/purse/money, or mobile phones. There are no facilities to care for valuables and Barwon Health cannot take responsibility for any loss. Please remove all jewellery, including body piercings where possible.


An interpreter can be arranged to attend any appointments and be present for admission on the day of surgery. Interpreters are available for most languages as well as assisting access for hearing-impaired patients.

Transport home

For patients going home on the same day as their operation, it is essential there is:

  • A responsible adult present to escort them home and contact details of the adult to be provided to staff on day of surgery
  • A responsible adult who is able to stay with you for the first 24 hours.
  • If you do not have anyone to pick you up or be with you overnight, please contact the Elective Surgery Access Unit prior to your surgery date to assist with transport options. 

Patients must not drive a car or operate machinery for 24 hours after an operation. 


Patients are often required to attend multiple appointments. Most of these appointments will be in the Elective Surgery Access Unit on Level 3 but could also include the Outpatient or Cardiology departments. We will always try, where possible, to group these appointments on one day to minimise the disruption to your normal routine (especially if you are travelling from outside Geelong) and we will try to organise to have any tests performed well in advance of surgery. There may therefore be a lengthy wait at times. Please be patient, but do tell us if you have been waiting more than 30 minutes for a scheduled appointment. For patients that must travel far or are unable to attend certain preoperative appointments, we do offer Teleheatlh for select group of patients.


The Elective Surgery Access Unit Service is able to provide a list of accommodation close to the hospital if required. If you live more than 100km away you will be eligible for a rebate on accommodation and/or travel costs. Please discuss this with us.


Please notify the nurses in the Elective Surgery Access Unit if you are breastfeeding currently. The hospital will be able to support your baby to stay with you post-operatively if you are to stay in hospital post-surgery. Whilst you are in surgery you will need to have arranged for an adult to care for the baby. Remember to keep up your fluid intake before you start fasting. The baby can stay with you right up until the time of surgery and may be able to be brought into recovery to be fed, however, we generally recommend that you express and discard the first feed after your anaesthetic, but it is then generally possible to continue breast-feeding while in hospital.

Preadmission clinics

The Elective Surgery Access Unit offers anaesthetic appointments for patients who may require to see an anaesthetist pre-surgery. In addition, certain specialities will have a clinic dedicated to education, what to expect pre, intra and post-surgery, physiotherapy, pain services while an inpatient and appointments with the doctors to have medication charts and medical history recorded prior to your admission. Specialities that offer these clinics are: Orthopaedics, General Surgery, ENT, Urology and Vascular.

Last Modified: Thursday, 16 February 2023


Elective Surgery Access Unit

Location: Within the Outpatient Department, Clinic 4,University Hospital Geelong, Bellerine Street, Geelong

Hours: Monday to Friday: 8am -5pm. Closed public holidays.

Phone: 03 4215 1627