The Theatre Admissions Lounge (TAL) is located on Level 7 on Ward 7A. It is open from 7am to 3pm.

What is the Theatre Admissions Lounge (TAL)?

It is a dedicated pre-operative waiting area for patients who have been admitted on the day they are scheduled to have their surgery. Patients admitted to TAL will have already undergone a pre-operative assessment and have been assessed to be physically fit to await their surgery without needing to be on a ward. It is run by staff nurses and theatre care assistants who will be in attendance at all times.

Most wards have doctors’ rounds in the morning where patients fit for discharge are identified. Until patients on the wards have been discharged there may not be beds available for those patients having surgery that day. TAL allows patients to be admitted to the hospital and to be made ready for surgery prior to a bed being available on the ward. This helps ensure the surgery time available is well used and that operating lists can start promptly. Admitting patients to TAL improves efficiency by separating admission and discharge.

How long will I wait in TAL before I go for my procedure?

The time you have been given to arrive in TAL is not the time that you will have your procedure. The request for you to come in earlier than your procedure is so that the nursing staff can prepare you for theatre and allow time for the surgical team and anaesthetist to see you.

The first patient on an operating list will normally be taken to theatre at approximately 8.15am. Your position on the operating list will determine the length of time you wait. However, your position on the list may change as the day progresses due to some surgical procedures taking longer than expected or where there is a cancellation (eg. due to a patient’s ill health on the day of surgery). Very occasionally we may have to cancel procedures on the day and send patients home, this would be rare and due to unforeseen circumstances such as staff shortages, safety issues or emergency surgery. Some patients may have to wait quite some time (more than six hours) before going to theatre, we try to avoid this but it is not always possible. We recommend you bring something with you to read or pass the time – free WiFi is available in the hospital. Please ensure you also bring a dressing gown and slippers with you to wear as you walk to theatre.

What happens after admission to TAL?

Patients are prepared for their surgery, ready to go from TAL directly to theatre. Patients will be seen by their consultant or a member of consultant’s surgical team and by the anaesthetist. When seeing the surgeon and anaesthetist you are encouraged to ask any additional questions about your procedure. The nursing staff will record your blood pressure, pulse and temperature, blood samples will be taken if necessary. You may also have further tests if required. The staff will prepare patients for theatre, according to their position on the list. When the theatre team are ready to start your surgery a member of TAL staff will escort you to theatre and wait with you while you have your details checked and until a member of the anaesthetic team comes to collect you.

Will my family and friends be able to come to TAL?

A relative, carer or friend will be able to bring you into TAL but as it is quite a small area, seating is limited to patients only. However, if seating is available then your companion is welcome to stay. Please do not bring children or babies with you as we do not have any facilities within TAL for them.

How will my family and friends know which ward to go to after my surgery?

The nursing staff will inform you of your ward, its location and a contact telephone number. The nursing staff will also be happy to telephone a relative or friend to give them this information.

What will happen to my property?

Your clothes and property will be placed into a green patient’s property bag and labelled. Please do not bring in any valuables with you, such as jewellery or amounts of money. TAL staff will ensure your belongings are taken to your ward once you have left TAL for your surgery. We advise only one small suitcase or bag with enough clothing, toiletries and reading material if you are staying overnight and recommend if you require any additional items that you ask a relative or friend to bring them to you on the ward when they visit after your surgery.


If you are on a morning or all day list and coming in before 8am on the day of surgery, you must have nothing to eat after 12 Midnight. You may have clear fluids only until 6am (water, apple juice, black tea/coffee) but STRICTLY nothing to drink after this time and no milk.

If you are on an afternoon list and being admitted late morning you may have a light meal such as tea and toast before 7.30am. You may then have clear fluids only until 110am (water, apple juice, black tea/coffee) but STRICTLY nothing to drink after this time and no milk.

Chewing gum or boiled sweets are not permitted on the day of surgery.

All of the patients admitted to TAL will be fasting. Food and drink may not be consumed in TAL.

Our aim

We understand that waiting for your operation can be an anxious time. Our aim is to make that time as agreeable as we can by:

  • answering your questions
  • keeping you well informed about when you will go to the operating theatre
  • treating you with respect at all times

We hope that you will be comfortable during your stay with us. If you have any further queries, please contact one of the TAL nursing staff on 01935 384 778.

Ref: 04-16-111
Review: 05/18