This leaflet explains how you can access support and advice about your health. If you have any concerns or questions which are not answered in this leaflet, please speak to your healthcare professional.
Instead of you having regular, routine appointments according to a timetable, we will support you to manage your own care and for you to contact us only if you have worries or concerns. This is called Patient Initiated Follow Up (PIFU).
How will my patient initiated follow up (PIFU) work?
You will have ‘open access’ to the service for six months. This will start from the date of your outpatient appointment.
If you are experiencing further problems or have worries related to your original appointment during this time period, please contact us to let us know. A clinician will review your request and offer you a further appointment if appropriate.
If you have problems after your agreed time period, you may be referred back to your GP practice.
Why am I being offered patient initiated follow up (PIFU)?
The reason we offer follow-up this way is because we want to give you more choice and flexibility and reduce unwanted and unnecessary visits to the hospital.
This will help improve patient experience, reduce cost of travel and parking and reduce waiting times for appointments.
The service has a long waiting list for follow-up appointments. During this waiting time, you may feel you need an appointment sooner, or you may feel you don’t need an appointment at all. The PIFU system will give you the flexibility to manage your own appointments.
When can I book an appointment?
You can make a follow up appointment if you:
Have on-going concerns about your condition
If your condition changes significantly beyond that expected
Require further advice or clinical input which you cannot get from support organisations or your GP or local services
Experiencing symptoms in relation to the condition you were treated for
Experiencing discharge from a wound, or gapping of a wound
Experiencing recurrent haematuria (blood in the urine)
Experiencing incontinence (loss of bladder control)
Experiencing recurrent urinary infections not responding to long term antibiotics
Have passed a stone and are experiencing increased pain
How can I book an appointment?
- If you are deemed to require a PIFU appointment, the service will aim to contact you via telephone within 2 to 5 working days.
- If you are deemed to not require a PIFU appointment, the service will aim to contact you via letter within 10 working days.
Can I just turn up at the department?
You cannot attend the department without a pre-arranged appointment.
When is a patient initiated follow up (PIFU) appointment not appropriate?
PIFU is not appropriate for conditions or symptoms unrelated to the condition you were seen for originally. For these you will need to contact:
- Your GP
- NHS 111 for advice.
If you require urgent medical attention
You should contact:
- Your GP
- NHS 111
- Attend A&E if you are really unwell
Frequently asked questions
What if I cannot get through to make an appointment?
The telephone number provided will automatically take you to a voicemail.
Please leave your:
- Full name
- Contact number
- Summary of your symptoms
A member of the secretarial team will be in contact in line with the timeframes outlined above. The service will also aim to respond to all emails requiring a PIFU appointment within 2 to 5 working days.
How long will I have to wait for an appointment?
Urgent Appointments: If you are deemed to require an urgent appointment, the service will aim to provide you an appointment within 4 weeks.
Routine Appointments: If you are deemed to require a routine appointment, the service will aim to provide you with one within 8 weeks.
Advice Appointments: For advice that does not require an appointment, the service will contact you within 14 days.
Could I get lost in the system?
No. You will be clearly recorded as being on a patient initiated follow up pathway on our internal systems.
If you do not need to see the clinician within your specific time period after your last appointment, you may be discharged back to your GP who can refer you back to us if you need hospital care again in the future.
South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust would like your feedback. If you wish to share your experience about your care and treatment or on behalf of a patient, please contact The Patient Experience Department who will advise you on how best to do this.
This service is based at The James Cook University Hospital but also covers the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton, our community hospitals and community health services.