Guidelines For Day Surgery Facilities

Aug 1, 1987Day Surgery, Journal Article

Day Surgery Article
Publication Status 3b (Australian Surgeon August 1987)
Review Status SR
Copyright Copyright of this article is vested in the author. Permissions for reprints or republications must be obtained in writing from the copyright holder. This article has been republished here with permission from the copyright holder. (Scanned from The Australian Surgeon August 1987. If there is any discrepancy between this scanned reproduction and the original the original takes precedence.)

Guidelines For Day Surgery Facilities

Lindsay Roberts, FRCS FRACS
Chairman, Australian Day Surgery Council, 1990 – 2000
President Elect, International Association For Ambulatory Surgery 1999


The following guidelines have been drawn up by Mr Lindsay Roberts following in-depth study of the development of day surgery facilities in Australia and the U.S.A. It is emphasised that they are general guidelines for the assistance of any person or group considering construction of a day surgery facility.

  • The principle of day surgery as a safe, high quality, efficient and cost effective system for the operative treatment of appropriately selected patients is proven.
  • The recommended Standards for day surgery and day surgery facilities are those published by the National Day Surgery Facility Standards Committee together with structural guidelines prepared by HOSPLAN (Sydney NSW) vis:

    – Day Surgery – Report and Recommendations (Revised Edition January 1987).

    – Manual for Accreditation of Day Surgery Facilities (1987).

    – Planning and Design Note – Day Surgery (HOSPLAN, Sydney).
  • There should be a formalised arrangement for the transfer of patients to a suitable hospital in case of emergency.
  • The minimum viable day surgery facility which could satisfy acceptable standards for patient safety and facility services would need one fully equipped operating theatre (for general anaesthesia) and one minor operating / endoscopy theatre.
  • The optimum day surgery facility (for the great majority of situations) would have two fully equipped operating theatres (for general anaesthesia) and one minor operating/endoscopy theatre.
  • The minimum floor space area for an optimum day surgery facility would be approximately 425 square metres or approximately 4,600 square feet.

    – Note: Sydney Day Surgery, Edgecliff approximately 700 sq. m. (approximately 7,500 sq. ft). Includes a large communal entrance foyer and spare office.

    – Note: Hornsby Day Surgery Centre – approximately 450 sq. m (approximately 4,850 sq. ft), excluding basement – 1 50 sq. m (approximately 1,500 sq. ft).
  • The population density for an optimum day surgery facility would be 150,000-200,000 people.

    – Note: Where the catchment population is predominantly of the lower socioeconomic group the higher figure would apply. Where the catchment population is predominantly of the higher socioeconomic group the lower figure would apply,
  • It is highly advisable, though not imperative, that a day surgery facility should be situated at ground level with adequate parking and ambulance access.
  • As a basic principle the design of a day surgery facility should be such that incoming patients be separate from outgoing patients.