Visiting guidance

Visiting restrictions have been eased. Please see information for visitors > before you plan on visiting.

Patient Initiated Follow Up (PIFU)

Our patients may be issued with a Patient Initiated Follow Up (PIFU) instead of being given a specific follow-up appointment. This means you no longer need a routine follow-up, but you still have access to your healthcare professional.

Patient Initiated Follow Up (PIFU), also sometimes known as an ‘open appointment’, which is when a patient (or their carer) can ask for a follow-up appointment as and when needed, e.g. when symptoms or circumstances change.

What is a PIFU?

  • The aim of PIFU is to reduce unnecessary visits to hospital and patient waiting times, and to release the clinical teams to see new and more complex patients as soon as possible.
     
  • You may be placed on a PIFU if you’ve seen a clinician and your progress is satisfactory, but your clinician wants to see you if your symptoms change, within an agreed timescale.
     
  • A Patient Initiated Follow Up allows you to access your healthcare professional when required. Instead of being given a specific follow up appointment, you can be given a PIFU.
     
  • PIFU is time-limited as decided by the clinician.

What are the benefits of PIFU?

  • Patient initiated follow-up (PIFU) puts you, the patient, in control of when you are seen by your clinician. This means spending less time attending hospital appointments, but still having access to clinical support when you need it.
     
  • If your condition is stable, you may not need to attend regular outpatient appointments scheduled by the hospital, helping to improve our patients’ access and experience of care.
     
  • Reduction in journeys for patients, families and carers who would otherwise be attending follow-up appointments.
     
  • Reduction in impact upon pollution, traffic and time taken out of work for those in employment as well as reducing stressful journeys and parking issues for all.   

How do I book a PIFU appointment?

Your clinician will provide you with clear instructions on how to book an appointment (if it is needed) and for how long the PIFU option is available to you.

Key contacts

Details of your key contacts will appear on your patient information letter.