Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy

Patient receiving physiotherapy treatment

Patient Initiated Follow-up (PIFU)


This page provides information for patients who have attended an out-patient clinic at King George or Queen’s hospitals and have been offered a “patient initiated follow-up” appointment. It explains what this is, how it works, and provides you with the information you need to contact our service to arrange a follow-up appointment, if you need one. We hope that it helps you to feel in control of your own care. 

What is a Patient Initiated Follow-Up appointment?

Patient initiated follow-up (PIFU for short) allows you to arrange a follow up appointment if needed. This puts you in control of hospital follow-up and provides you with direct access to guidance when you most need it. 

How does PIFU work? 

If PIFU is suitable for you, your physiotherapist will discuss your condition with you and add your name to a PIFU list. Instead of being given a routine follow-up clinic appointment, you will be able to contact the service directly to arrange a follow-up appointment, if you feel you need it. Your physiotherapist will tell you how long you will stay on the PIFU list, which is determined by your clinical condition.

If you do not need to see the physiotherapist about your condition within the timeframe discussed at your last appointment, you will be discharged back to your GP, who will re-refer you if you need to be seen again in the future.

Why are we introducing this new type of follow-up appointment? 

We are introducing this new type of follow-up because it offers a number of benefits. These include:

  • PIFU puts you in control of your own out-patient follow up.
  • Appointments can be made based on your needs rather than at routine intervals, which often do not add value to your care.
  • If you experience a flare-up in symptoms, you will be able to receive guidance when you need it.
  • Saving patients time and money they spend attending non-essential appointments. The number of people making these journeys will be greatly reduced and we hope it will improve your experience.
  • Freeing up appointments for people who need to be seen, means we can reduce the waiting times for them to be seen more quickly.
  • It will also help us to cut down our carbon footprint by reducing the number of unnecessary journeys to our hospitals.

What do I need to do? 

If you experience any problems with your condition, have complications following treatment or your symptoms return or worsen, please contact the Physiotherapy Department to arrange an outpatient appointment on 020 8970 8363 between 9.00am and 4.00pm, alternatively email us here or text us on 07957 919 951 (text messages only). 

Frequently asked questions

What if I cannot get through to make an appointment?

If you cannot get through using the contact details on this leaflet, please contact the Outpatients Bookings team on 020 8970 8000, who will pass your details to the Physiotherapy Department.

How long will I have to wait before I receive an appointment?

Because you are on the PIFU list, if you need to be seen for any of the above-stated reasons, you will be given priority and booked in as soon as possible.

Could I get lost in the system?

No. You will be on a dedicated list for PIFU, which will be checked regularly. If you have not needed to see the physiotherapist at all within the period specified at your last appointment, you will be discharged back to your GP, who will re-refer you if you need to be seen again.

Why have you set a deadline for me to make an appointment?

The length of time that you will remain on the PIFU list is determined by your clinician, who will notify you of the timescale.  It depends on your condition, and they will use their clinical judgement to decide how long you need to be on the list before you are discharged back to your GP.

How do I book a patient initiated follow-up appointment?

To book an appointment, call 020 8970 8363between 9am and 4pm and ask for a patient initiated follow up (PIFU) appointment or email us at

*Please note that if you speak to an administrator, secretary or receptionist, they cannot give you clinical advice. That will be available from the physiotherapist who conducts your PIFU appointment.

To arrange a PIFU appointment you must:

  • Have been told that this is appropriate for you
  • Contact us within the timeframe recommended by your clinician.

Your feedback:

We would love to hear your feedback and would like to contact you either by phone or email to get your views. Please let your clinician know if you do not wish to be contacted.

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