What is 'patient initiated follow up'?

Patient initiated follow up (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 is not 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 ‘flaring-up’ or identify new problems. In fact, many people find that follow-up visits to the hospital cause a lot of unnecessary anxiety.

What happens if I am placed on PIFU?

You will receive a PIFU letter after of your consultation that will provide you with all the information regarding when and how to contact. This will also state the date when your PIFU is due to end.

At the end of the PIFU period, if you have not activated your pathway, 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.

How do I book a PIFU appointment?

The service is quick and easy to use. Just call the number provided on your leaflet or call 01274 274274 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.

PIFU flow chart

Consultation between clinician and patient takes place. PIFU is agreed as next step of pathway.

Patient leaves with PIFU leaflet which contains

  1. Length of PIFU pathway
  2. Contact details

Once on a PIFU, if you have symptoms or concerns, you can contact the number on your leaflet. (You don’t need to go to your GP first)

When you contact us, you will be booked in to an appointment.

At your appointment you and your clinician will decide whether you stay on this pathway or not.

If you haven’t contacted the service within the agreed timeframe, depending on your condition, you may be discharged back to the care of your GP. If you are discharged, if you need to see a specialist in the future, you will have to see your GP first for a new referral.

When you should not use PIFU

If you require urgent medical attention, you should

contact your GP

use NHS 111

or attend A&E if you are really unwell