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Patient Initiated Follow Up

This page was last updated: October 21st, 2022

Patient Initiated Follow-Up (PIFU)

Please see patient information videos about Patient Initiated Follow Up

Traditionally, follow-up appointments are offered at routine intervals, but in some cases, you may agree with your clinician that a follow-up is not required unless your symptoms flare up or your circumstances change.

To give you (and your carers) the flexibility to arrange your follow-up appointments as and when you need them, the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust is offering patient initiated follow-up (PIFU).

By adopting this approach, we are making it easier and more convenient for you to receive care and support when you need it, avoiding unnecessary trips to hospitals and clinics, saving time, money and stress.

This approach helps empower you to manage your own condition and plays a key role in enabling shared decision making and supported self-management in line with the personalised care agenda.

For clinicians, it means more time to spend with the patients who most need their support, whilst feeling assured that they are there for all their patients when they are needed most.

How does it work?

If patient initiated follow-up is suitable for you, this will be discussed with you in clinic and a letter sent to tell you which symptoms to look out for and how to make contact with the service. Instead of being given routine follow-up clinic appointments, you will be able to contact the service directly to arrange a follow-up appointment when your condition indicates that you need review. Your clinician will let you know how long you can access the service this way.

Ask your clinician about patient initiated follow-up to check if it is suitable for your management.

How do I book a Patient Initiated Follow Up (PIFU) appointment?

You will be given a contact point to request an appointment, either in your clinic letter or PIFU information leaflet. When you make contact, details of your symptoms will be taken and a clinician will decide on the best next steps. If an appointment is needed, this will be arranged and may be a face to face, video or telephone appointment. If you are unable to find your clinic letter, please contact us on 01872 250000 and ask to be put through to the medical secretary for your clinical team.

If you require urgent medical advice, you should contact your GP or NHS 111 in the first instance. For all other concerns outside of your condition, or if you are feeling unwell, your GP remains your first point of contact.


If you are on a patient initiated follow up pathway, you can use the Friends and Family survey to tell us anonymously what you think about it. We are passionate about patient experience and we want every one of our patients to receive the best possible service while under our care. We use your views to improve our services and pass your comments onto the staff and managers.

Patient Initiated Follow Up (PIFU) – Patient Experience Feedback

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