Instant Book – does it sound too scary?

So here’s the dilemma: you understand the ethos behind LocumDeck’s Instant Book, you get how it helps you work on your own terms. You’ve enjoyed spending a happy half hour setting up your dream sessions in your chosen practices and specifying your own rates (I won’t do visits in practice A because I spend more time looking for a parking space than seeing patients; in practice B I need longer appointments and catch up slots because they triage everything through the nurse clinic etc). You love the way that all you then have to do is add availability to your calendar and then your chosen practices each get to see the sessions that you have set for them - and then they can just book you.

Free automated 'Instant Book' for the rest of your career! For a limited time only, become one of our growing band of early adopters and start using LocumDeck's Instant Book feature. Once Instant Book has gained momentum, we'll introduce a very affordable fee for all other users, just not for you*.

If it sounds as if this was made for locums, well that’s because it was. NASGP built LocumDeck with its optional Instant Book as an antidote to the anguish of practices desperately seeking cover and the practice-facing companies seeking to fill the gap by ‘Uberising’ the medical workforce. So far as we know, LocumDeck is now the only truly locum-led, locum-developed booking tool with safety and professional autonomy baked into it.

But if you think Instant Book just benefits locums, then ask the practice manager that has just Instant Booked me for 10 sessions in under 60 seconds at no cost to them. They will tell you that it is transformational. That practice has saved potentially hours having to hunt for locums. And if they used a traditional booking platform or agency, more time and attention spent posting a job requirement and then wait to sift through applicants. And cost-wise, they’ve saved at least £600 of agency booking costs.

I am happy with the session fee I will be receiving. I have slightly raised my fee by about the price of a cup of coffee per hour to reflect the Instant Book fee. I will happily pay this to cover the costs of providing this service, which has just saved me time and secured me precisely the work that I wanted and designed for myself a couple of weeks ago when I initially added my availability. And it’s all on my own terms, and all completely set up by me with no outside interference. I have been clear that I am claiming the additional employers contribution for the NHS pension; the practice can e-sign my paperless Locum A form in seconds at the same time as they notify me they’re sending payment. And they’re more able to afford this as they have not paid any booking fee. One practice manager told me she is delighted that all the money her practice paid is going to me to fund my professional costs (which includes a few quid on Instant Book, tax-deductible I might add), my pension and this service which has just helped her so much.

So back to the dilemma - LocumDeck’s Instant Book is brilliant...but what about the name - what does Instant Book imply? Sometimes it takes some explaining to fellow locums who, ironically, think it implies a loss of control and that they will somehow be instantly booked ‘willy nilly’. I’m trying to think of a shorter, snappier moniker but so far all I can think of is “How to have a fantastic work/life balance, help practices and work to your professional safety standards by getting booked for exactly the work you want by planning your sessions in advance without having to do any work at the point of booking.”

So please help by sending ideas for a better name. The winner will receive a copy of Judith Harvey’s new book, Perspectives: A GP reflects on medical practice and, well, just about everything . .  it’s a wonderful collection of the inspirational articles that Judith has written for the NASGP over the years.

Conditions apply - no Locumy MacLocumface please.

*To take up this offer, simply start using Locum Deck's Instant Book feature and adding committed availability to your calendar. As soon as a practice successfully books you using Instant Book, we'll automatically apply a 0% Instant Book rate to your account, forever. We'll stop accepting new participants to this offer as soon as we've reached our target number of early adopters.

Sara was a salaried GP for 4 years, and has worked as a locum GP since 2001 in over sixty different GP practices. As well as NASGP’s appraisal and revalidation lead, and mother to twins, she is also the brains behind NASGP’s Practeus platform.

Sara’s an avid reader, especially fiction, history and trains (yes, trains); loves walking, pilates and beans on toast with cheese.

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