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 access’ to the clinic for a period of six to 12 months from the date of your outpatient appointment (depending on the details given to you at your appointment), which means that if you are concerned about your condition, you can contact us and you will receive a remote (phone) or face-to-face consultation within two 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 respond to your needs more quickly.

If your skin condition flares after the end of the PIFU agreement and need to see a member of the dermatology team, you need to contact your GP and be re-referred.

What should I expect?

After your appointment with the doctor, 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 or if your condition changes significantly beyond that expected or if you require further information or clinical input that cannot be met by your GP. 

How to book an appointment

Please email rf-tr.royalfreedermatologypatientqueries@nhs.net or telephone the dermatology pathway coordinator on 020 7794 0500, extension 38134 or 33508. State that you are on the PIFU pathway with a brief outline of your problem. Please leave your name, date of birth and hospital number. Also include the type of clinic you need to be seen in e.g., psoriasis, eczema, acne etc, and/or name of your clinician.

The hospital will send you a confirmation letter with the date and time of the appointment in the post. 

This ‘open invitation’ is for six to 12 months (depending on the details given to you at your last appointment) following your appointment unless specified otherwise. After this time, please contact your GP for a new referral.