Patient Initiated Follow Up Appointments

What is a Patient Initiated Follow Up (PIFU) appointment?

A patient-initiated follow up or ‘PIFU’ allows you to make an appointment with your dermatology team when you need it, rather than having a regular or prearranged clinic visit.

The service helps reduce unnecessary visits to hospital  and supports people with chronic skin disease to re-access the dermatology team when needed without having to go back through their GP.

PIFU isn’t suitable for everyone. The dermatology team will discuss this type of appointment with you if they think it may be suitable for you. If you feel that this is not suitable for you, you can continue to have a regular booked clinic visit.

If you are put on a PIFU pathway your GP will be fully informed. 

What happens if I am placed on a PIFU?

If you agree to a PIFU, then you will no longer be given a routine follow-up clinic appointment. You will be able to contact the department directly to arrange a follow-up appointment as and when you feel concerned, as long as it is within the specified time period (see above). 

At the end of the PIFU period you will be automatically returned back to the care of your GP. 

For all other concerns, or if you are feeling unwell, your GP remains  your first point of contact. 

How do I book a PIFU appointment?

Booking a PIFU appointment is straightforward. Simply call Chelsea and Westminster Hospital on 020 3315 4007 or West Middlesex University Hospital on 020 8321 5473 and leave a message on the answer phone with the following details: 

  • Full name
  • Hospital number (this can be found at the top of any clinic letter)
  • Date of birth
  • Contact telephone number

The dermatology department will respond to you within two working days and directly book you an appointment in 6 weeks. We will do our best to ensure you are seen by the person you normally see, but this may not always be possible. 

In order to maintain the necessary contact with you, please ensure you notify the department of any changes to your contact details and mailing address.


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