Patient Initiated Follow Ups (PIFU)


Many patients with long-term conditions, or following hospital treatment, do not need regular follow up appointments with our hospital team.

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, the healthcare professional responsible for your care will discuss this option with you and if you are happy, will add your name to the PIFU appointment list.

More information 

Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital (Wonford) and related services in Mid Devon, East Devon and Exeter 

North Devon District Hospital and related services in North Devon 

How it works

You will not be given a routine follow-up appointment as you may have been in the past, instead you will need to contact your service directly to arrange an appointment if and when you need one.

The healthcare professional 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 the information you need on how to contact the service to arrange this if you need to.

You will be told how long you will be on the PIFU waiting list - this will depend on what you are being treated for.

In some cases, if you do not need to see your hospital care team at all within this time period you will be discharged back to your GP, who will refer you back to the hospital if you need to be seen again in the future.

For patients with certain long-term conditions where it may not be appropriate for them to be discharged from the hospital, your hospital care team will discuss this with you and make you aware of what will happen at the end of your PIFU plan.

If you are under the care of more than one department, it is important to remember that your patient initiated follow-up plan does not apply to all of them.

Some departments may still send you regular follow-up appointments and it is important that you attend these so that they are able to monitor your condition.

How do I book an 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. 

If you have lost these details, do not worry - you can telephone the service by following the links below to find the your speciality who are and a member of the team will assist you. 

To arrange a PIFU appointment, you must: 

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

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Last updated: September 12, 2022