It has been developed in response to a request from NHS Boards to support hospitals to safely refer people to the most appropriate place for treatment, if they do not need emergency care.
With the level of people self-referring to emergency departments returning to pre-Covid levels, hospitals are seeing more patients whose needs can be better met closer to home by local pharmacies or GP practices.
The new guidance draws on established good practice in NHS Tayside and NHS Grampian to inform a Scotland-wide approach developed in partnership with health authorities and the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM).
Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “It is widely recognised that more people could be better seen away from hospital and closer to home by a more appropriate care provider such as a pharmacy or GP practice or indeed, managed with self-care guidance. We have invested £27 million towards the Redesign of Urgent Care to ensure people receive the right care, at the right place. This will form part of this work and will help healthcare staff safely signpost people to care more appropriate to the their need in the right place and at the right time.”