Enquiries: 01305 251150

Updated 14 October 2021

Evidence has shown that many patients with long term conditions, or following hospital treatment, do not need regular follow-up appointments with our hospital team.

To support our patients in accessing timely care when it is relevant for them, several services across Dorset County Hospital is now offering Patient Initiated Follow-up (PIFU) appointments.

As part of your consultation, your clinician may discuss whether being put on a PIFU pathway is right for you and your condition. Being on this pathway will enable you to book a follow-up appointment within a set timeframe, if and when you need one, rather than at routine intervals. This means you avoid unnecessary appointments, saving you time, money and stress.

How it works

If PIFU is available and suitable for you, the healthcare professional responsible for your care will discuss this option with you and if you are happy, will add your name to the appointment list.

As an outcome of your consultation, you will receive a patient information leaflet which will contain the following information:

  • what to expect following your consultation
  • how to get in touch with your service if you need to/symptoms to look out for
  • the timeframe in which you can book an appointment

If you do not need an appointment within the specified timeframe, you will be discharged from the service. If you have any issues after you have been discharged from PIFU you will need to contact your GP and they will re-refer you if you need to be seen again.

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

It is quick and easy to book an appointment when you need one. To do so, request a follow-up appointment via the PIFU patient portal. If you are unable to access this portal you can call the Central Appointment on 01305 255779 (Monday to Friday, 8am - 6pm). 

To arrange a PIFU appointment you must:

  • have agreed with the healthcare professional responsible for your care that PIFU is appropriate for you and have been given the relevant information confirming you are on the PIFU waiting list
  • contact us within the timeframe advised by your healthcare professional.

Supporting our patients with virtual consultations

To support keeping our staff and patients safe, and to help ensure our services are accessible as possible, you may be offered a video or telephone consultation for your PIFU appointment.

This service will only be provided if it is right for you / your condition and you can discuss your preference with the team.

More information on video consultations can be found here.

Managing your care at home

Information on how to manage care at home is available here

The benefits

Patient Initiated Follow-up has been demonstrated to offer a number of benefits which include:

  • empowering you to book follow-up appointments when it is relevant to you and your condition e.g. with a flare up of symptoms
  • reducing waiting times and helping you get more timely access to our services.
  • reducing unnecessary visits to clinics for follow-up appointments, saving you time and money
  • if appropriate your follow-up appointment can be offered as a video or telephone consultation, making your appointment more convenient and further increasing accessibility to our services