PIFUs – deliver secure Patient Initiated Follow-Ups by telephone

Published: 3rd March 2020
One way of reducing face-to-face NHS appointments will be Patient Initiated Follow-Ups (PIFUs). How can you quickly set a SECURE service up?
According to NHS Digital Outpatient hospital appointments have nearly doubled since 2007/08 to 120 million a year, with follow-ups accounting for two-thirds of all appointments. While the number of appointments has increased, so too has the proportion of unattended appointments, which now stands at 22%. This has led to some clinics overbooking outpatient appointments, exacerbating the problem of wait times and poor patient experience.
Unsurprisingly then, there’s significant interest in making appointments more responsive to patient need, thereby minimising the risk of DNAs. NHS England and NHS Improvement are exploring this as a solution as part of their implementation of the NHS Long Term Plan. Meanwhile, the Royal College of Physicians (RCP), in their report Outpatients: The future – adding value through sustainability, advocated for patient-initiated appointments and patient involvement in scheduling. 
A Patient Initiated Follow Up Service (PIFU) is specifically designed for patients following or prior to elective surgery or treatment and allows them to access clinical teams as and when they have a flare up of their condition. Such a service will reduce unnecessary visits to hospital, reduce patient waiting times and release the clinical teams to see more patients in a timely manner.
You can now offer an easy and secure PIFU service in your area using Consultant Connect. All calls are recorded and tracked using our award-winning service. Clinicians can access call recordings and PID, commissioners and administrators are able to access reports, including the outcome of calls, with all PID stripped out.
It’s as straightforward as you would expect from Consultant Connect with two pathway options –  see diagram below, or click here to download the PDF:
There is no doubt that this is the simplest, most effective way of delivering follow-up consultations where the clinician does not need to see the patient. It is also the easiest step on the path to delivering the NHS Long Term Plan.
Please call us on 01865 261467 or email us at hello@consultantconnect.org.uk if you would like to discuss PIFUs for your area.

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