Once your appointment has been made, you’ll receive a letter from us with everything you need to know.
On the day of your appointment, go to the department named on your letter and register with the reception. Try to arrive 10 minutes before your appointment time.
Although you have a designated time for your appointment, you might have to wait. Hospital staff will try to keep you informed about delays.Before your appointment, a nurse may carry out some tests, like measuring your blood pressure.
You are not required to wear a facemask unless this is a personal preference and face masks will continue to be made available. Please also use the hand sanitisers found at every entrance and keep socially distant from others.
your appointment letter
anything mentioned in the letter e.g. a list of medications you’re taking
something to make notes with so you can refer to them later
You’ll see either a consultant (a hospital doctor of senior rank in a specific field) or a doctor who works on the consultant’s team.
Medical students or training nurses might be present during your appointment. If you do not want them to be, tell the doctor or nurse in charge.
The consultant or doctor may want to see you again. If they do, you can book another appointment with the receptionist.
If your doctor or nurse gives you a prescription, you might be able to collect it from the hospital pharmacy. You can check if your hospital has a pharmacy by looking at the facilities sections on our locations pages.
You’ll have to pay prescription charges unless you’re exempt. Please bring proof of exemption with you, such as an income support book.
What is PIFU?
Patient initiated follow-up, or PIFU for short, is a type of outpatient appointment that allows patients to arrange follow-up appointments with their clinicians as they are required rather than attending a scheduled routine follow-up which are often unnecessary.
Why are we introducing this new type of outpatient pathway?
Being placed on a PIFU pathway gives patients direct access to arrange follow-up appointments with their service if and when they feel they are required and without having to re-contact their GP. This gives patients control over their own health and care and avoids the often unnecessary travel, expense and inconvenience of routine follow-up appointments.
Which types of patients and conditions is PIFU suitable for?
PIFU is for patients with chronic conditions, patients who may require post-treatment review or form part of a patient’s long-term monitoring of their condition.
Examples of when PIFU is appropriate is patients being treated for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), skin conditions which may flare up or post-treatment cancer patients on remote monitoring.
How long is a patient on a PIFU pathway?
The duration of a PIFU pathway can be for a defined period using the latest clinical guidelines and research or at the consultants’ discretion. This can be for a defined period, such as 6 or 12 months, or indefinitely based on the patients’ needs.
How do patients contact their clinicians?
Clinicians will explain what PIFU is during an outpatient appointment and give the patient an information leaflet with contact details to use to initiate a follow-up appointment. The clinician will explain when the patient should get in touch, such as a change in their condition or reoccurrence of symptoms for example, and how quickly they should be seen by.