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Patient Initiated Follow Up (PIFU)

As part of the Outpatient Improvement Programme, we have developed the Patient Initiated Follow Up (PIFU) service. This has been specifically designed for patients following surgery or treatment to allow them to access clinical teams if they feel they need to, rather than having a prearranged or regularly scheduled appointment.

The service helps to reduce unnecessary visits to hospital, reduce patient waiting times and release clinical teams to see more patients in a timely manner.

What is ‘patient initiated follow up’?

You may see patient initiated follow up referred to as ‘PIFU’. PIFU puts you in control. You can make an appointment to see us if you have any worries or concerns rather than having a regular or prearranged clinic visit. PIFU isn’t suitable for everyone but your clinician will discuss your condition with you to assess whether this type of appointment is suitable.

Research has shown that having a regular or prearranged outpatient follow-up does not help to prevent your condition returning or identify new problems. In fact, many people find that follow-up visits to the hospital cause a lot of unnecessary anxiety.

The majority of patients with long-term conditions, or following hospital treatment, do not require regular follow-up by the hospital team.

What happens if I am placed on PIFU?

If it is agreed that you will no longer be given a routine follow-up clinic appointment, you will be able to contact the service directly to arrange a follow-up appointment as and when you feel concerned, as long as it is within the specified time period.

You will be given a PIFU patient leaflet. At the end of the PIFU period you will be returned back to the care of your GP.

If you were seen in a virtual (video or phone call) appointment and were not given a paper copy of the leaflet, the information you need can be found on this page. Your clinic letter will also provide the arrangements around your specific PIFU and the dates that your PIFU period will end. For all other concerns, or if you are feeling unwell, your GP remains your first point of contact.

How do I book a patient initiated follow up appointment?

The service is quick and easy to use. Just call the number below for your speciality and we will arrange an appointment for you. Please note that the operator cannot give any clinical advice.

Please remember, it is important that you are available for your appointment. If you find you are unable to attend, please tell us in advance so we can try to give your appointment to someone else. Failure to do so may lead to you being referred back to your GP.