Emergency Department signposting/ redirection guidance

Best practice guidance for Emergency Departments to ensure people are being seen by the right person in the right place for their healthcare need.

2. Introduction

The 6 Essential Actions to Unscheduled Care support the delivery of safe, person centred, effective care delivered to every patient, every time without unnecessary waits, delays and duplication.

A key part of this approach is the Redesign of Urgent Care Programme which heralds a significant change in how we provide safe and effective urgent care on a 24/7 basis. This work includes modernising wider Unscheduled Care pathways to ensure the public have access to the best clinical advice and care, from the right professionals, every time. Right Care, Right Place, Right Time.

The level of people self-referring to hospital Emergency Departments is returning to pre- Covid levels. It is recognised that some of these patients do not require emergency care and care could be provided closer to home by a more appropriate care provider e.g. pharmacy, GP practice or indeed, managed with self-care guidance.

In order to ensure that citizens are supported to access the right care in the right place, this document builds on the extant guidance, provides a refreshed framework and proposes a number of high impact changes which will enable NHS Boards and Health and Social Care Partnerships to maximise the impact of the signposting approach.


Email: jessica.milne@gov.scot

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