Evidence shows that not everyone who is treated in hospital needs regular follow up appointments.
If you have recently come to hospital for an outpatient appointment you might be offered Patient Initiated Follow Up, or PIFU for short.
This allows you to contact us if and when you feel you need to. It takes away the need for you to attend unnecessary hospital appointments.
What is Patient Initiated Follow Up (PIFU)
It allows you to arrange your own follow up appointment or get advice as and when you need it. It puts you in control of how and when your care is followed up.
Why am I being offered this?
We want to give you more control and flexibility over your care. We also want to reduce unnecessary visits to hospital. This means less travel, less cost and a better experience. Freeing up appointments also means that we can see people who need to be seen quicker.
In the past patients have just been offered regular reviews or follow up appointments. This has been the case whether they have needed them or not. This is not always helpful unless there is something you want to talk about. Some patients find these visits reassuring. Others can find them stressful and not very helpful.
There is evidence that shows that the majority of patients do not benefit from regular follow up appointments. They benefit more from being seen when they have a specific concern. Patient Initiated Follow Up gives you the control to arrange appointments as and when you think you need them.
How does it work?
If Patient Initiated Follow Up is right for you, we will talk to you about this. This will be depend on your condition / injury. If you have any worries or concerns relating to the condition / injury you are being treated for, you can ask for an appointment or advice.
You will be put on the Patient Initiated Follow Up list for a set amount of time, depending on your condition. After this time has passed you will be discharged back to the care of your GP. If you need to be seen again in the future they can re-refer you into the service.
How can I book a Patient Initiated Follow Up appointment?
If you are eligible we will tell you how you can book a Patient Initiated Follow Up appointment. We will also give you information on what symptoms to watch out for.
Once you contact us a member of your healthcare team will look at your request. They may contact you with advice and information. They may invite you to come in for an appointment.
When should I call for a Patient Initiated Follow Up appointment?
• If your condition / injury is not improving
• If your condition / injury gets worse
• If you have a ‘flare up’
• If you have other concerns relating to your condition / injury
When should I not use Patient Initiated Follow Up?
• If your concern is about a different condition / injury
• If the timeframe to book a PIFU appointment has passed
• If you need urgent medical advice. In this case contact your GP or NHS111