Patient Initiated Follow Up Appointments

Information about Patient Initiated Follow Up appointments (PIFU

Information about Patient Initiated Follow Up appointments (PIFU)  

What is a patient initiated follow up appointment?

  • Patient initiated follow up puts the patient in control.  You can make an appointment to see us if you need to
  • Patient initiated follow up appointments are designed to be more convenient for you and save you time and travel by only having to travel to hospital when you need to

Why have they been set up?

  • Research has shown that having a regular outpatient follow up does not help prevent disease returning or identify any new problems, and many patients find that follow up visits to the hospital cause a lot of anxiety
  • Outpatient clinics are increasingly full and some patients travel very long distances to attend clinics as part of a specialist service

How do patient initiated follow up appointments work?

  • Instead of having a follow up appointment booked at a specific time in the future, your follow up care will be by way of a Patient Initiated follow up appointment, should you need it
  • You will receive confirmation of this in a letter sent to you by your hospital doctor/team
  • Your PIFU period will be for a set time period (for example 3 months, 6 months, 12 months etc) and will have an expiry date.  If you need a follow up appointment within the timeframe set out in your letter, you will need to contact the hospital (as detailed in the letter you received from the doctor/team) to book an appointment

How do I know if I need a follow up appointment or not?

  • If your recovery is not as you expect of if you have any concerns in relation to your condition or treatment, you can contact the doctor/team at the hospital directly
  • Your hospital doctor or clinician will have provided you with any specific information about when you might need to get in touch

How do I get my Patient Initiated Follow Up appointment?

  • The letter you receive from the hospital doctor/team will include details of how to make contact so that you can book an appointment
  • If you need to cancel or change your booked patient initiated follow up appointment, you can get in touch the same way

What if I don’t want a follow up appointment?

  • You don’t have to have a follow up appointment, only if you feel you need one
  • We will not contact you to book the PIFU appointment – it has to be booked by you or your carer
  • If you do not contact us to book an appointment, the PIFU time period will simply expire.  The letter sent by the hospital doctor or team will explain what happens at the end of and after the PIFU period

Will I always be followed up in this manner?

  • Not necessarily. If we need to see you so that we can undertake a clinical examination, we will ask you to come to the clinic. In such instances we will arrange for you to attend a hospital outpatient appointment