What is patient-initiated follow-up?

Patient initiated follow-up (PIFU) puts you in control of your follow-up appointment. Instead of being offered regular visits, you can make an appointment to see us if you have worries or concerns following your consultation.

You will be given ‘open accesses to the clinic for a period of 36 months from the date of your outpatient appointment. That means that if you are concerned about your IBD or your medication, you can contact us, and you will receive a remote (telephone) or face-to-face consultation within six weeks. 

The reason we offer follow-up this way is because most patients do not benefit from having a regular outpatient follow-up and many patients find the follow-up visits to the hospital cause a lot of anxiety and unnecessary disruption. By offering appointment bookings in this way, we hope to be able to offer you a consultation in the way suitable for you.

What should I expect?

After your appointment with the IBD clinical nurse specialist, you may not need to have regular scheduled appointments at the hospital. In some specific cases your consultant may book you for further procedures or want to see you in their clinic personally to discuss potential further treatments or tests that you may require. If this is the case, you will already have been told about this and an appointment letter will be sent to you in the post.

When to book an appointment

A follow up appointment can be activated if you have ongoing concerns about your condition if your condition changes significantly beyond that expected or if you require further information or clinical input that cannot be met by your GP. Some examples might include any queries related to your IBD medication, your colonoscopy procedure or you feel you need to see the IBD team. 

If you are experiencing a flare in your condition, please contact the PIFU line on IBD Pathway Coordinator (020 7794 0500 Extension 32336).

How to book an appointment

Please email rf-tr.bcfh-ibdpifu@nhs.net stating that you are on the PIFU pathway with a brief outline of your problem leaving your name, date of birth and hospital number. If you do not have email access, please contact our IBD pathway coordinator on 020 7794 0500 Extension 32336.

The hospital will send you a confirmation letter with the date and time of the appointment in the post. This ‘open invitation’ is for 36 months following your appointment unless specified otherwise.