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Promoting patient initiated follow-up appointments to patients and clinicians

In the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare, initiatives that empower patients to better manage their own health continue to gain importance.

To give patients and their carers the flexibility to arrange their follow-up appointments as and when they need them, NHS England is supporting providers to provide patient initiated follow-up (PIFU) appointments.

PIFU allows a patient to request a follow up appointment when they need one, based on their symptoms and individual circumstances.

It can be used with patients with long or short-term conditions in a broad range of specialties including orthopaedics, rheumatology and cancer.

By placing decision-making in the patient's hands, this approach fosters a sense of control and responsibility, ultimately leading to better health outcomes.

PIFU saves patients time, money, and stress, and helps providers manage their resources better, reducing pressure on their outpatient waiting lists.

NHS England's (East of England) team have developed a range of resources and assets to promote and explain PIFU to clinicians and patients.

These assets have been produced in close collaboration with the NHS England’s national outpatient recovery and transformation team and can be used by teams across the country, alongside the national PIFU campaign toolkit.

The assets are held on the NHS Learning Hub, which you will need to register with in order to access them. Resources include:

  • Patient PIFU resources
  • Clinician PIFU resources
  • Social media PIFU resources
  • Web page PIFU resources
  • Primary care PIFU resources

Where applicable, editable files have been provided to enable you to adapt assets for local use.

There is also an 11 minute training video for clinicians which includes a forward from Tanyia Bleiker, former NHS England clinical director for outpatient recovery and transformation, and a discussion between two clinicians on whether to put a number of different patients on a PIFU pathway or not.

More information on PIFU can be on the NHS England and on the Outpatient Recovery and Transformation Programme's PIFU FutureNHS pages.

For more information on this project, contact debbie.adger@nhs.net.

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