What is PIFU?
The term patient-initiated follow-up (PIFU) describes when a patient (or their carer) can initiate their follow-up appointments as and when required, e.g. when symptoms or circumstances change. This helps patients access support when they need it (e.g. during a flare-up of their symptoms) and avoids unnecessary routine ‘check in’ appointments. The patient is empowered to manage their own condition and takes responsibility for initiating the appointment.
How does it work?
If your clinician believes you are eligible, you will be placed on a patient-initiated follow up or ‘PIFU’. This allows you to make an appointment when you need it, rather than having a regular or prearranged clinic visit.
This service helps to reduce unnecessary appointments and supports patients with an appointment as and when needed, without having to go back through their GP.
How do I book PIFU?
Your clinician will provide you with all the necessary information and details needed to ask for an appointment should you need one. You will be able to contact the service directly, within the specified time period given by your clinician. Your clinical team will assess the best option for supporting you following your contact. This may not necessarily be a face-to-face appointment.
When should I call PIFU?
You should call PIFU if you are experiencing a flareup of symptoms or symptoms are not resolving in the expected timeframe. These symptoms should have been explained to you by your clinician when you were placed on the PIFU pathway.
When not to use PIFU
If you require urgent medical advice, you should contact NHS 111 or an A&E department. For any other concerns, not related to your PIFU plan, please contact your GP or phone 111.
For further information regarding PIFU: NHS England » Patient initiated follow-up