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University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust

Patient initiated follow up

Evidence has shown that many patients with long term conditions, or following hospital treatment, do not need regular follow up appointments with our hospital team.

To support our patients in accessing timely care when it is relevant for them, several services across University Hospitals Dorset are now offering Patient Initiated Follow-Up (PIFU) appointments.

As part of your consultation, your clinician may discuss whether being put on a Patient Initiated Follow Up pathway is right for you and your condition. Being on this pathway will enable you to book a follow-up appointment within a set timeframe, if and when you need one, rather than at routine intervals. This means you avoid unnecessary appointments, saving you time, money and stress.

How it works

If Patient Initiated Follow Up 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 Patient Initiated Follow Up appointment list.

As an outcome of your consultation, you will receive a Patient Information Leaflet which will contain the following information:

  • What to expect following your consultation
  • How to get in touch with your service if you need to/symptoms to look out for
  • The timeframe in which you can book an appointment

If you do not need an appointment within the specified timeframe, you will be discharged from the service. If you have any issues after you have been discharged from PIFU you will need to contact your GP and they will re-refer you if you need to be seen again.

How do I book a Patient Initiated Follow Up (PIFU) 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, this will have been issued to you during/following your consultation in your Patient Information Leaflet.

To arrange a Patient Initiated Follow Up appointment you must:

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

Supporting our patients with virtual consultations

To support keeping our staff and patients safe, and to help ensure our services are accessible as possible, you may be offered a video or telephone consultation for your Patient Initiated Follow Up appointment.

This service will only be provided if it is right for you / your condition and you can discuss your preference with the team if and when you book your appointment.

Free course offered by Keele University and NICE can be found here.

More information on Video Consultations can be found here.

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