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.