Patient Initiated Follow Up
Many patients with long term conditions, or following hospital treatment, do not need regular follow up appointments with our hospital team. With regular follow-up appointments, some patients come to hospital at times when they are feeling perfectly well and symptom-free. These appointments may not result in any change to a patient’s treatment. But the patient will have spent time and energy putting arrangements in place to attend their appointment.
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, your clinician will discuss this option with you and if you are happy, will add your name to the PIFU appointment list.
How it works
PIFU puts you in control. You will not be given a routine follow up appointment as you may have been in the past, instead you will be provided with information on how to request an appointment, if and when you need one.
The clinician 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 a patient information leaflet.
You will be told how long you will be on the PIFU appointment 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 back to your GP. If you experience issues in the future, please contact your GP and they will manage your ongoing care or re-refer you to the hospital if it is appropriate to do so
If you are added to a PIFU appointment list, you will receive an SMS text message confirming this. The SMS will also contain a link where you will be able to access an appointment request form to initiate your follow up.
The message will be sent from +44 7860 039092. Please save this number in your contacts so you know this is from your medical team.
How do I book an appointment?
It is quick and easy to book an appointment when you need one. To do so, you should access the link previously sent to you via SMS text message. Once you have submitted the appointment request form via this link, the details will be sent to the appointment booking team/clinician for review. You will then be contacted with an appointment; this appointment may be at the hospital, or a telephone/video appointment.
If you have lost these details, do not worry, you can access your request form from your patient portal:
1. Login to your patient portal at drdoctor.thirdparty.nhs.uk/nuh
2. Enter your Last name, Date of Birth and Postcode.
3. Navigate to the ‘Appointments’ page, here patients who have been added to a PIFU appointment list will see ‘Request an appointment: [Specialty name]’.
4. Click ‘Start Request’ to begin and follow the steps above
To arrange a PIFU appointment you must:
Have agreed with the clinician responsible for your care that PIFU is appropriate for you and have been given the relevant information confirming you are on the PIFU appointment list
Contact us within the timeframe advised by your clinician
For further information, please see the attached generic patient information leaflet.