Prehab Service

We have a dedicated Prehab Service for people living with cancer due to undergo surgery as part of their treatment.

The NUH Prehab Service offers a holistic approach to your health and wellbeing and can inspire you to adopt healthy lifestyle behaviours such as physical activity, healthy eating, stopping smoking, reducing alcohol intake and enhancing your overall emotional wellbeing

The Service can also link you with community initiatives and opportunities in your local area. This may involve a referral to one of our partners, Self Help UK.

What happens next

You will be contacted by telephone within the next 3 working days to arrange your first appointment. Please be aware this call may come from a private or unknown number. If you miss the call please call us back on the contact details provided below.

Your first appointment will be with one of the NUH Prehab Professionals and will last for approximately 1 hour. The appointment will include a few simple tests to determine your current level of fitness.

You will be given the opportunity to discuss any concerns you may have and you will be encouraged to set yourself personal goals.

After this initial appointment you will start with regular exercise sessions either with our specialist prehab professionals at the hospital or with our community partners in locations across the city and county.

You will usually attend 3 exercise sessions a week with the aim of improving your cardiovascular fitness, strength and balance. You may also be given a personalised exercise plan for you to follow at home.

The team may introduce you to our dedicated Self-Help UK Link Worker who can help you access opportunities and support in your local area.

You will usually be part of the Prehab Program from your initial appointment up until a few days before your surgery. This is normally for around 4-6 weeks.
Before your surgery date you will be invited to attend a follow up appointment to discuss your improvement and review your goals.

A feedback questionnaire will be sent to you approximately 3 months after your surgery.

What is Prehabilitation?

Between now and the time of your surgery, you have the opportunity to influence your recovery and outcome by keeping as healthy and active as possible. This process is called Prehabilitation.

Prehabilitation, or “Prehab” involves preparing for your upcoming treatment, and focuses on improving your physical fitness, mental wellbeing and weight management through what you eat. Research has demonstrated that Prehab can reduce the length of time you are in hospital, reduce the risk of complications occurring and help you with your recovery afterwards.

Building physical and emotional resilience can help you to cope with your cancer diagnosis and treatment as well as benefiting your health in the long-term.

We understand that you may not have attempted exercise for sometime and that the idea may seem daunting. Patients with a low level of activity are likely to see the most benefit and our team is able to cater for all levels of ability.

Where to find us

The NUH Prehab Unit is at Nottingham City Hospital.

Enter the City Hospital site at Gate 5 on Edwards Lane, and take the first right turn up Linden Way. The Prehab Unit is on the left hand side. There is a small parking area for Prehab patients outside the Unit, and the main entrance is clearly marked on the corner of the building

What to bring to your Prehab appointments

  • Please bring a list of any medications you are taking to your first appointment
  • We would encourage you to wear loose, comfortable clothing and footwear suitable for physical activity to all your appointments and exercise sessions and please bring a small towel
  • Please bring some water with you to your sessions and if required, something to eat
  • If you require any medication for an existing condition (eg asthma, diabetes, angina) that you may need during your session – please ensure you bring this with you.
  • Please be aware there are no changing or shower facilities

Important things to remember

  • If you become unwell before or after your appointments, or you develop any worsening or concerning symptoms, please contact your GP or Cancer Nurse Specialist. Please also inform the Prehab Team as soon as you are able.
  • Attending all of your Prehab sessions is important for you to achieve your goals and gain the most improvement. However if you are unable to attend your booked appointment or exercise session please make the Prehab Team aware as soon as possible.
  • Please inform one of the NUH Prehab Team when you are given the date for your surgery (if not already known at time of initial appointment).

Exercise resources

There is lots of evidence to support physical activity at all stages of the cancer care pathway.

Research has shown it is both safe and beneficial to exercise and keep active before, during and after your cancer treatment. It can help you to manage side effects such as cancer-related fatigue.
Engaging with physical activity can improve your physical function as well as your psychological well-being.


Exercise resources:

Pelvic Floor Exercises.pdf [pdf] 663KB

Prehab Service Home Exercise Booklet[pdf] 3MB

Core Exercises - bridge and bug.docx [docx] 4MB


Other resources:

MePlus Recovery Handbook[pdf] 2MB

Further information and support



Macmillan Information and Support Service
Access further information and support on all aspects of living with cancer including emotional, practical and financial support
Telephone: 0115 840 2650 / 0115 970 0033
Text: 07812277944 (Text messaging only)

Maggie’s Nottingham
Telephone: 0115 924 6210
Facebook: Forest Rec 5K Your Way, Move Against Cancer

CARE (Cancer and Rehabilitation and Exercise)

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Contact us

NUH Prehab Service
Tel: 07812 278296
Tel: 0115 969 1169 Ext:77824

NUH Prehab Unit
Linden Way
Nottingham City Hospital