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Patient Initiated Follow Up

Patient Initiated Follow Up (PIFU)

Giving you greater control over your hospital follow-up care

What is a PIFU?

In some of our clinics we are offering a new way of arranging outpatient appointments called patient initiated follow-ups (PIFUs).

At the moment, regular follow-up appointments are arranged by the hospital at set intervals, for example, every six months or every year. Some patients find these regular visits useful and reassuring. For others, it can be frustrating or stressful coming to hospital if they don’t feel they need to.

Through a patient initiated follow-up plan you can arrange follow-up appointments with your hospital care team when you feel you need them, or if your symptoms get worse. This puts you in control of your follow-up appointments and gives you access to support and guidance when you need it most.

What happens next?

If your hospital care team think that patient initiated follow-up might be suitable, they will discuss this with you and agree a patient initiated follow-up plan.

This means you may not receive regular follow-up appointments anymore and you will need to contact the hospital if you feel you need one.

Your hospital care team will tell you how long your plan will last for and you will be on a dedicated patient initiated follow-up plan list which will be checked regularly. For some patients, the PIFU plan might be open-ended.

In some cases, if you do not need to see your hospital care team at all within this time period you will be discharged back to your GP, who will refer you back to the hospital if you need to be seen again in the future.

For patients with certain long-term conditions where it may not be appropriate for them to be discharged from the hospital. Your hospital care team will discuss this with you and make you aware of what will happen at the end of your PIFU plan.

If you are under the care of more than one department, it is important to remember that your patient initiated follow-up plan does not apply to all of them.

Some departments may still send you regular follow-up appointments and it is important that you attend these so that they are able to monitor your condition.

What do I need to do?

If you are placed on a patient initiated follow-up plan your hospital care team will discuss which symptoms you should look out for and give you this information in a written format so you can refer back to it.

If you experience any of these symptoms, please contact the service as soon as possible to arrange an appointment. The service will provide you with the relevant contact details.

If you experience any other symptoms, you should contact your GP or phone NHS 111 for advice

How do I book an appointment?

To book an appointment, please contact the number provided by your hospital care team and ask for a patient initiated follow-up appointment. Each team will have their own way of managing the booking process.  To arrange an appointment, you must:

  • Have been given a patient initiated follow-up plan and discussed this with your hospital care team
  • Contact the service within the timeframe your hospital care team have discussed with you.
  • Need an appointment for a specific health concern your PIFU plan relates to, rather than a new or unrelated concern.
Benefits

You have more control over your follow-up appointments and when you have them

Appointments are made based on your individual needs

For many people it will mean they do not need to come to hospital as often, meaning less time off work and travelling

With fewer patients coming in when they do not need to, we can make appointments available more quickly for those that do need them

We can also reduce our carbon footprint by lowering the number of patients travelling to the hospital unnecessarily

PIFU Specialties
  • Orthopaedic
  • Physiotherapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Neurology
Leaflets and supporting information

For further information please select the specialty whose care you are under:

  • Orthopaedic - Contact Details 01902 695200
  • Physiotherapy - Contact Details 01902 695666
  • Occupational Therapy - Contact Details 01902 695666
  • Neurology - Epilepsy (PDF, 740Kb)
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