What is a Patient Initiated Follow-Up appointment

We believe that you should be at the centre of your care, be able to confidently manage your condition and have access to support and guidance when you need it.

Patient initiated follow up (PIFU for short) puts you in control of requesting an appointment with your health professional if you need further advice or support about your condition. This can be accessed by directly contacting the service to request an extra appointment or advice.

Not all patients will require support. You will be given a timeframe as to how long your PIFU will be available for you to use. At the end of this timeframe, if you have not needed further support, we will assume you are managing well, and we will discharge you back to the care of your GP. You can always be re-referred to the service in the future should you require it.

The following two short videos explaining PIFU have been developed with our neighbouring NHS Trusts in the South West region.  We would especially like to thank our colleagues in Dorset NHS Trust for leading on this work.

Please click on the links below:

Patient initiated follow up - Outpatients

Dr Jonathan Mark - Outpatients

How does Patient Initiated Follow Up work?

If PIFU is suitable for you, your clinician will discuss this with you and will advise on any triggers for when you should access support and guidance. They will provide you with contact details for the service and tell you how long PIFU will be available for you to use. These details will be provided on a ‘Trigger card’. This may be given to you at your appointment or be located in the body of a letter or email sent to you from your health professional.

When should I request a PIFU appointment or seek advice?

You do not need to do anything if you are managing confidently on your own. However, you may wish to access an appointment or advice:

  • If you experience a flare up or worsening symptoms which you aren’t sure how to manage on your own.
  • When you feel that you are ready to progress. For example, if you feel you have met your goals and would like to discuss next steps.
  • If you have any questions or concerns about your existing condition which you feel you need to speak to your health professional about.

Frequently asked questions

How do I book a patient-initiated follow-up appointment?

To book an appointment, call the number on your PIFU Trigger Card. Remember that the trigger card could be within the body of an email or letter.

If you cannot find your card, then call the Central Booking Team on 01249 456515 and ask for a “Patient Initiated Follow-Up appointment” for the appropriate service, they will be able to connect you with the correct team. Please note that if you speak to an administrator, they cannot give clinical advice.

To arrange a patient-initiated follow-up appointment you must:

  • Have been told you have been placed on a PIFU pathway.
  • Make contact within the timeframe advised by your clinician.

If you are receiving care from multiple services:

If you receive care from other Wiltshire Health and Care Services, it is important that you continue to attend the appointments which they schedule. Being suitable for PIFU in one service does not mean you are on PIFU for all aspects of your care.

Your feedback

We would love to hear your feedback about your experience of PIFU. Please complete our online survey by clicking on this link: