Orthopaedic Patient Initiated Follow up (PIFU)

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Patient initiated follow-up appointment information leaflet for patients.

What is ‘Patient Initiated Follow Up’ (PIFU)?

  • Patient initiated follow up empowers you the patient by allowing you to be in control.
  • You or your carer can initiate your follow up appointment when you feel you need one due to symptoms which you may have or when your circumstances may have changed.
  • You will have direct access to guidance when you need it the most as opposed to attending a follow up within a set timeframe which you may not need.
  • Research has shown that regular interval follow ups are not effective at identifying new problems and can potentially cause patient’s unnecessary anxiety.

The Orthopaedic PIFU service offers:

  • Up to 12-month period of open access to the Orthopaedic service.
  • After your 12 months PIFU you will be discharged from the service and will need to contact your GP to be referred back to the MSK service.

How is PIFU beneficial to you the patient?

  • You won’t be making an unnecessary journey to the hospital attending a follow up appointment which you don’t really need. You will only attend the hospital if you feel you need to be seen.
  • You are in control of when you are followed up as opposed to attending your follow up appointments at routine intervals.
  • It gives you a period of time in which to access the clinic without needing to be referred by your GP.

How do I make an appointment?

Making an appointment is easy, you just need to call PIFU appointment bookings on 01908 997050 and ask for a ‘patient initiated follow up appointment’. Please provide your NHS number which can be found at the top of any hospital letter.

Please note, to arrange a patient initiated follow-up appointment you must:

  • Have been told by your healthcare professional that this is appropriate for you
  • Contact us within the timeframe advised by your clinician.

What symptoms should I get advice about?

Some of the more common symptoms to advise us about are listed below:

  • Increase in pain
  • Increased swelling that does not go down with elevation
  • Painful/red/hot calf (when you had surgery on your hip/leg)
  • Rotation/ shortening of leg, unable to walk (hip or knee replacement patients only)
  • Wound infection, fever higher than 38C, swelling, redness, oozing. You need to contact your GP or attend an A&E Department.

When you should NOT use PIFU?

If you require urgent medical attention, you should contact your GP, NHS 111 or attend A&E if you are really unwell.