Patient Initiated Follow Up (PIFU)

Many patients with long term conditions, or following hospital treatment, do not need regular follow up appointments with our hospital team. Instead, some patients are offered ‘patient initiated follow up’ appointments (PIFU for short). This is where you arrange a follow-up appointment as and when you need it, rather than at routine intervals. This means you avoid unnecessary appointments, saving you time, money and stress.

If PIFU is available and suitable for you, the healthcare professional responsible for your care will discuss this option with you and if you are happy, will add your name to the PIFU appointment list.

How it works

You will not be given a routine follow up appointment as you may have been in the past, instead you will need to contact the QVH service directly to arrange an appointment if and when you need one.

The health care professional responsible for your care will tell you what symptoms or complications after treatment to look out for that would mean you should make an appointment. They will also provide you with the information you need on how to contact the service to arrange this if you need to.

You will be told how long you will be on the PIFU waiting list, this will depend on what you are being treated for. If you do not need an appointment within the specified time period, you will be discharged from the service. If you feel you need another appointment after your PIFU time period has ended, you will need to contact your GP and they can re-refer you.

When should I NOT use PIFU?

For medical problems that are not related to the condition for which we have treated you, your GP remains your first point of contact. If you require urgent medical attention, you should contact your GP, NHS 111, your local walk-in centre, or if you are really unwell, attend your local A&E.

How do I book an appointment? 

It is quick and easy to book an appointment when you need one. To do so, you should contact the service using the contact details provided to you by the healthcare professional responsible for your care, also found in the specialty specific PIFU leaflet you will have been given. The PIFU leaflets are available to download from this website page.

To arrange a PIFU appointment you must: 

  • Have agreed with the healthcare professional responsible for your care that PIFU is appropriate for you and have been given the relevant information confirming you are on the PIFU waiting list
  • Contact us within the timeframe advised by your healthcare professional.

What if I am worried and change my mind about this style of follow up?

Just tell us and we will go back to booking regular hospital appointments for you. Our team are happy to discuss any concerns with you.

Page last updated: 8 February 2024.

PIFU information leaflets

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