This information is about a way of managing appointments for some patients with long-term conditions.
Patient initiated follow-up for patients with long-term conditions is known as Move to PIFU.
What is PIFU?
We typically book regular appointments with you to see how you are and check if your condition is stable and well-managed.
Instead of these appointments, we are now offering some patients the option of contacting us if they need to in between less regular pre-booked appointments. This is called Patient initiated follow-up (PIFU).
PIFU means that you book an appointment or contact a specialist if you have symptoms relating to your condition.
How does it work?
If your specialist thinks you would suit PIFU, they will explain it to you. You can agree to PIFU or choose to only have routine follow-up appointments on set dates instead.
If you choose PIFU:
We explain when to contact us. This will be if you get certain symptoms relating to your condition. If you develop another, unrelated health problem you still have to get help in the usual way (such as contacting your GP, NHS 111 or emergency [A&E] department).
We give you a list of symptoms on a PIFU card or hospital letter. This means you will know exactly what to look out for.
If you get any of the symptoms listed, you should contact us, tell us you are on PIFU, and explain your symptoms.
We will then contact you within 3 days to offer you an appointment.
Who will be offered the option to move to PIFU?
PIFU is for patients with long-term conditions or illnesses who are able to self-manage their condition.
Not all patients will be offered the option of PIFU (called ‘Move to PIFU’). It is only suitable for certain patients with who are able to manage their condition themselves in between less regular hospital visits.
What are the benefits of PIFU?
PIFU means that you only book an appointment or contact a specialist when you have symptoms relating to your condition.
PIFU puts you in control of when you access care and treatment from your hospital department.
You may spend less time attending hospital appointments. You still have full access to support from a hospital specialist when you need it.
Feedback from patients using PIFU is that they avoid unnecessary trips to hospital. This this saves them time, money and stress.
Research has shown that planned follow up appointments do not help to prevent conditions returning or lead to new problems being identified.
Why have I been offered PIFU?
You and your hospital specialist have agreed that you will benefit from PIFU. It is important that you look out for changes in symptoms and that you are confident to contact us about these.
How do I book a PIFU appointment?
If you have any of the symptoms listed on your hospital letter or PIFU card, contact the department and say that you are on PIFU. They will:
ask you to describe your symptoms
ask if you have any special requirements that we need to take into account when we organise your appointment
pass this information to the specialist team.
You will not be given any clinical advice during these initial contacts.
The department will get in touch with you within 72 hours (3 days) to arrange a phone or face-to-face appointment.
Tell us straight away if your situation changes and you no longer need your appointment or you need to change your appointment date. We will then be able to offer your appointment to someone else.
PIFU is not a replacement for urgent medical advice.
If you need urgent advice, do not wait for a PIFU appointment.
Contact your GP if you have symptoms that are not listed on your letter or PIFU card or letter.
Contact your GP, NHS 111 or a local walk-in centre if you need urgent medical advice.
Go to your local Emergency Department (A&E) if you need urgent medical assistance.
Will you still be looking after me if I do not call for a PIFU appointment?
You will still have regular appointments with us but they will not happen as frequently, there is more time between routine appointments. Your specialist will tell you how often these will take place.
Phone your hospital department if you want to find out more about this.
What if I have a special communication need?
Tell your hospital department or ask someone else to contact us if you have a special communication need. We will offer information and communication in a format that you find easy to use and understand. We can provide large print if you have eyesight problems, or written communication and face-to-face appointments if you are deaf or hard of hearing, or easy read information if you have a learning disability.
Tell us whether a virtual or face-to-face appointment will best meet your needs.
We appreciate your feedback to improve our services
We appreciate and encourage feedback and our hospital departments are happy receive your comments at any time.
You can give quick anonymous feedback about PIFU by:
Alternatively, you can call PALS on 020 8934 3993 to feedback by phone.
If you don’t want to take part in surveys, you can tell us by contacting your hospital department or by choosing to ‘opt out’ of the national programme that allows confidential information about you to be used for research and planning. Visit this website to learn more about this and to opt out.
Move to Patient Initiated Follow-up (PIFU) - Kingston HospitalDownload PDF
If you have any questions or concerns about PIFU please call your department.
Use the phone number on your hospital letter or PIFU card.
Please speak to a member of staff before or during your visit to the hospital if you require translation.
Please contact the Patient Experience Team on 020 8934 3850 if you need this information in a different format.
For information accessibility please visit Kingston Hospital AccessAble www.accessable.co.uk/kingston-hospital-nhs-foundation-trust
Visit the hospital website, ask a member of staff, or ring us for details.
Switchboard 020 8546 7711
‘Find Us’ page for maps, transport, registering a blue badge, disabled access
Information, advice and support for patients and relatives (PALS) 020 8934 3993
Please speak to a member of staff before or during your visit to the hospital if you require translation support to access Patient Information. Please ring the phone number on your appointment letter, if you have one.
Request More Information
Please contact the Patient Experience Team on 020 893 3850 if you need this information in a different format.
For detailed information on accessibility at Kingston Hospital visit Kingston Hospital AccessAble (https://www.accessable.co.uk/kingston-hospital-nhs-foundation-trust).
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