Patient Initiated Follow Ups

As a patient, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals is keen to help empower people to manage their own conditions and play a key role in enabling shared decision-making with your doctor.

Patients attending their appointment for specific specialties will now be given the opportunity to take part in an exciting pilot as we begin to roll out Patient Initiated Follow Up (also known as PIFU).

This means that you will have more control over whether you need a follow up appointment or not, and when that appointment takes place.

Currently, following a hospital appointment, it is often necessary to arrange a follow up for ongoing care. Traditionally, these appointments are offered at routine intervals but in some cases, patients might need an appointment sooner than their scheduled session or may agree a follow up isn’t required unless symptoms flare up or circumstances change.

This is how PIFU can help, allowing patients and clinicians to agree an appointment process which works best.

When you visit for your appointment, you will be given a leaflet if it is agreed PIFU could be appropriate. This will then be followed up in your Outpatient Outcome PIFU Letter sent to both patients and their GP. This leaflet will provide patients with full details on how to initiative PIFU and what symptoms to watch out for.

The leaflet and letter combined provides patients with the following information:

  • What PIFU is and how it helps the patient
  • Which symptoms mean they should initiate an appointment
  • Any circumstances not to use PIFU
  • Details of the agreed pathway
  • How to contact the hospital for a clinic appointment

It was piloted by the Trust’s Rheumatology team in mid-September 2022 and successfully rolled out to Pain Management and Ophthalmology. PIFU will be going live for Paediatrics and Orthopaedics over the next few weeks in March/April 2023.