We provide care for older patients at risk of poorer recovery from surgery due to frailty, multiple medical issues, cognitive and functional impairment.

Key points

  • Comprehensive assessment of older patients considering surgery
  • Risk assessment, shared decision-making, perioperative goals of care discussion
Patients need a referral from their GP or healthcare provider. Access referral information

What we do

We provide comprehensive preoperative assessment and management for older patients considering surgery. We are also called POPS.

We care for older patients who are in hospital or are coming to hospital for surgical treatment. Our role includes:

  • Assessment of geriatric syndromes
  • Optimisation of medical issues
  • Perioperative risk assessment
  • Shared decision-making
  • Discussing perioperative goals of care with patients

Patients who undergo surgery receive a postoperative medical review to try to reduce the risk of postoperative complications and to support discharge planning.

Who can use our service

The following people can use our service:

  • Older patients considering surgery who have geriatric syndromes, increased perioperative risk or are thought to benefit from geriatrician review can be referred to the POPS Clinic.
  • Older surgical patients from all subspecialty disciplines, including some patients considering cardiology procedures.

Most patients are aged above 65 years, however we can also see younger patients with geriatric syndromes.

Our clinics

Perioperative Care of Older Patients Undergoing Surgery Clinic
The RMH Parkville
For patients
For health professionals


For all new appointments, contact the Direct Access Unit on (03) 8387 2333

To cancel or reschedule a booked appointment, contact the Clinical Centre on (03) 8387 2194

What to bring

Every time you come

Every time you come in for a test, day procedure, surgery or treatment, you should bring:

  • Medicare card
  • Health Care card (if you have one)
  • Concession card (if you have one)
  • Adverse drug alert card (if you have one)
  • Medications you are currently taking, including any that you have bought without a prescription
  • X-ray films, scans, ultrasounds or any other test results you have which are related to your procedure
  • Private health insurance card (if you want to use it)
  • Aids (glasses, hearing aid, walking frame)

For a clinic appointment

If you come for a clinic appointment, you should also bring:

  • Your appointment letter
  • Any special items listed on your letter
  • Your appointment book (if relevant)
  • TAC or WorkCover claim number

What will happen at the clinic?

At the POPS Clinic we will:

  • Ask questions about your health issues, values and goals
  • Assess different parts of your health including your memory and function
  • Have a detailed discussion surrounding your specific benefits and risks of surgery - this is called ‘shared decision-making’
  • Discuss your wishes while receiving care in hospital - this is called ‘goals of care’

We may make recommendations about your health issues and improving your health and function leading up to surgery.

Some patients who attend the POPS Clinic decide the risks outweigh the benefits of surgery. If this occurs, we can make an alternate plan.

Who is involved in a patient's care?

At the clinic, patients may see several health professionals, including:

  • Geriatrician
  • Anaesthetist
  • Physiotherapist
Head of service
Dr Rachel Aitken
Contact us
Aged Care
(03) 8387 2137
Aged Care administration
(03) 8387 2146
Aged Care administration - alternate number
(03) 8387 2278
Aged Care ward 1
(03) 8387 2253
Aged Care ward 2
(03) 8387 2442
Aged Care ward 3
(03) 8387 2145
Aged Care ward 4
The RMH Royal Park
Robert Campbell Wing (Building 17)
34-54 Poplar Rd, Parkville, Victoria
Last updated 10 January 2023