NASGP and the Medical Protection Society

We have worked closely with the Medical Protection Society for 20 years, both is an advisory capacity and helping spread information about reducing risk in general practice.

A large part of that w0rk has also included a close collaboration with both the original paper version of NASGP's locum induction pack, as well as the more recent online Standardised Practice Information Portal (Spip).

Enter MPS and LocumDeck

Founded in 1997, NASGP is a not for profit membership organisation run by sessional GPs. LocumDeck is part of NASGP’s evolving Practeus platform - an online platform for general practice, and is the embodiment of NASGP’s twenty year commitment to supporting sessional GPs and promoting safety and quality by fostering good working relationships between practices and GP locums.

LocumDeck is an easy-to-use yet sophisticated online tool that gives GP locums full control over how they work and, when using the Instant Book option, gives the locum and practice everything they need to book GP locums instantly. It reduces booking errors, avoids misunderstandings, saves precious time, and has the potential to open up much-needed GP capacity.

Where LocumDeck efficiently and safely engages GP locums, the Standardised Practice Information Portal (Spip) component of Practeus then welcomes and inducts these often isolated GP locums into an ecosystem of practice-specific information presented in an easy-to-navigate standardised format and shared by all GP staff within the practice and across networks of practices and CCGs.

LocumDeck offers GP locums

Invoicing & bookkeeping

At its simplest level, LocumDeck helps you organise your basic locum admin

  • Simple online invoicing and automatic generation of pension forms.
  • Keep a track of your mileage, expenses and earnings.
  • Generate accountant-friendly reports from LocumDeck’s Bookkeeper in preparation for your accounts and tax return.

Management of your own bookings

Having a clear, written agreement of the work to be carried out is one of the steps to a safe session, and LocumDeck has this ethos at the heart of its design

  • Generate your own T&Cs using NASGP’s terms and conditions picker - or upload your own if you wish.
  • Choose which of your professional credentials to display to practices.
  • Confirm your work using LocumDeck’s smart session confirmation system, leaving a clear audit trail of work agreed. Practices on LocumDeck can see a summary of your bookings and invoices.
  • Keep track of your work by synchronising LocumDeck’s calendar with your devices

Links with practices

Practices can join NASGP too, with full access to Practeus - all for free - allowing:

  • Synchronisation of all sessions and invoices with you through LocumDeck. And - should you allow a practice - to book you direct via Instant Book.
  • Access to essential practice-specific information about services and policies through access to their Standardised Practice Information Portal (Spip), ensuring you have everything you need to work effectively and efficiently in their practice.

Instant Book

The Instant Book feature allows you to decide when, where and how you want to work and share your real-time Committed Availability with any practices you choose.

  • For each practice, you can specify in great detail the type of work you are prepared to carry out with them, at what times and at what rates.
  • You pro-actively plan and add your Committed Availability to your calendar, so you can make considered decisions about your working patterns rather than having to make rushed decisions reactively in response to enquiries.
  • Each of your authorised practices can only 'see' the potential availability that you allow them to that fits within your availability.
    • E.g. you make yourself available in your calendar to work from 8 am to 6 pm. You have a favourite, familiar practice which is 10 min drive from your doorstep so you have authorised them to ‘see’ that they can Instant Book an 8am to 6pm on call session. In contrast, another practice is 30 minutes drive away; you are less familiar with their procedures and don’t like working there in the afternoon as the practice nurse leaves at 2pm. So you limit your Instant Book sessions with them to 9am - 1pm.
  • Practices can see your Credentials and your full Term and Conditions alongside your session availability to inform their booking decision.
  • Once an Instant Booking is made, your calendar is updated and you are notified by text and email confirmation.
  • It is liberating to pro-actively plan when you want to work at your own pace and watch the bookings roll in, without any of the inconvenience of having to respond to booking enquiries at times that don’t suit you and having to negotiate terms and rates.

LocumDeck offers GP practices

Help recruiting GP locums

Signing up to LocumDeck means you are added to LocumDeck’s ‘global’ practice list, visible to all GP locums, with those living within a 45 minute radius of your practice being notified that your practice is onboard.

Simpler working with locums

LocumDeck facilitates your direct interaction with locums

  • Alongside email copies of booking confirmations and invoices generated by LocumDeck’s confirmation and invoicing system, you also have access to a live summary of all your locum bookings and invoices online.
  • Within LocumDeck, click on your GP locum’s profile to see details of their T&Cs and professional credentials and documentation.

Help to enable GP locums to work safely and effectively in your practice

  • Spip is also part of Practeus, and comes with a LocumPack for you to display commonly needed or safety-critical information to any clinician working in your practice.

Instant Book

The holy grail of working with locums!

  • GPs can authorise you to Instant Book them if you agree to the parameters and terms set by them. If you’re happy, it’s literally one click and both you and the GP locum get a confirmed booking appearing in your respective calendars and are sent email confirmations and, in the locum’s case, a text message notification too.

Choose how to use LocumDeck

It’s up to you. You can just use it for quickly generating invoices, with automatic pension forms. Or in advance of the session, use it to ensure you have a booked session audit trail, complete with full online calendar that both you and the practice have access to. Or use LocumDeck’s full potential to allow practices to book you direct using Instant Book.

I’m a new GP in the area...

Welcome onboard! LocumDeck can help you find practices to work in, whether you’re checking out practices to find a substantive post or you want to locum longer term.

  • Take a look at our 40-page guide on how to set yourself up as a new locum after qualification.
  • LocumDeck’s ‘global’ list of practices shows a practice’s distance from your home, alongside their clinical IT system.
  • Instant Book allows you to define your safe working boundaries at an individual practice level; while you get used to the area and the different practice settings, you might prefer to limit your session types (e.g. shorter sessions, longer consultations, no on call etc) and then spread your wings as you gain confidence and familiarity.

I’m an established GP locum and I’ve already got lots of work in my ‘regular’ practices...

There’s still a lot LocumDeck can do for you:

  • Save significant amounts of admin time using the invoicing and automated pension forms and Bookkeeper in LocumDeck. You might even find you have time and energy for more locum work!
  • Make your own bookings on LocumDeck and use the confirmation system so you and each practice have a clear record of the agreed session details. Once a session is in your calendar, you can build confirmation emails in seconds.
  • Spread your net with LocumDeck
    • You never know when a practice’s needs will change - all of a sudden that practice you’ve worked in for a couple of years doesn’t need you anymore and there’s a black hole in your work calendar.
    • LocumDeck can allow you to link with local practices, and Instant Book is a great tool for spreading your bets and making yourself available to new practices. You’re in control of what type of sessions and workload you make available to the practice, so if you don’t want to risk accepting a 10 hour on-call shift without having worked at a particular practice before, then you can tailor your terms accordingly.

I’m a GP with a portfolio career and other commitments...

LocumDeck, and in particular the Instant Book feature, will be perfect in allowing you to plan ahead: ‘Block availability’ for your commitments, ‘Add availability’ for locum work around them and set clear boundaries on your availability and the sessions you are offering. Your chosen practices are notified when you activate Instant Book for them so, next time they need a locum, they can log in to LocumDeck and check your availability. Making a booking takes the practice seconds and means you secure a confirmed booking without the inconvenience of having to respond to booking enquiries and negotiate terms and rates at times that don’t suit you.

What does it cost? The deal for MPS members in GP training...

Thanks to the collaboration between NASGP and the MPS:

  • Full NASGP membership is free for GP registrars anyway, but GP registrars with MPS membership get full membership of NASGP free for 12 months once they've full qualified too.
  • Any GP locum sessions booked using NASGP's Instant Book for the six week period from qualifying as a GP will not incur the usual 5% service charge.
  • After the first 6 weeks of you first signing up, any Instant Book sessions (any session booked instantly, online, by the practice) attract a tax-deductible service charge of 5% inc VAT of the session fee payable by the GP locum, which you can of course reflect in your session rates.
  • NB you are not in any way obliged to use Instant Book if you don't want to, and there is no service charge for any online bookings that you make yourself.

Just in case you're wondering, practice membership of NASGP is free and allows:

  • Full use of LocumDeck by the practice.
  • Set up and share a Spip.
  • Full access to the NASGP website, including access to our special area for GP practices, designed to help you make your locum sessions more productive.

Key concepts

This is central to how Instant Book works. By the GP locum fully committing to all sessions that they make available for Instant Book to specific practices that they choose within LocumDeck, those chosen practices can be assured that all the locum availability that’s shown to practices is completely accurate.

GP locums get to set the parameters around their availability in great detail; from defining which practices they are willing to work in, when they want to work, and the duties and workload they are prepared to undertake in each practice setting.

Committed Availability removes the need for practices and locums to undertake discussions by phone or email, reduces the chances of double-bookings, misunderstandings or other problems occurring on the day. It allows GP locums to use their professional judgement in setting the boundary around what work they feel they can safely carry out in each practice.

LocumDeck is unique in its ability to allow GP locums to define every significant parameter concerning their acceptance of a session at any given practice, even taking into account average rush-hour travel times between practices.

Having defined these parameters, and manually activated the capability for each individual practice to instantly book them, the GP locum can then define any dates and times on their own personal calendar within LocumDeck - Committed Availability - and undertake a declaration to commit to a booking should the practice book them directly through LocumDeck using Instant Book.

This only applies if the session is booked by the practice using Instant Book, and is charged to the locum. As a GP locum, you can still use LocumDeck to manage all your bookings, including our automated one-click confirmation process, without paying anything more than your NASGP membership fee.

When GP locums are defining their sessional or hourly rates in their LocumDeck settings, they are free to define two versions: their usual rate, and an Instant Book rate that reflects the 5% service charge. Then, against each practice within their LocumDeck settings, apply the Instant Book session.

Therefore, when a practice finds a suitable match, they have the option to either book and confirm the GP locum straight away using Instant Book, or, if the locum has declared in their practice statement that they are prepared to accept enquiries, they can instead contact the locum via phone or email where the locum can then book the session on LocumDeck manually and avoid the 5% service charge.

We firmly believe that there should be no restriction on GP locums being asked by practices to become regular employed GPs or partners. NASGP does not impose any form of restrictive or exclusivity 'Trojan Horse' clause on either practices or GP locums, which could result in the practice being liable to pay the agency or platform some 15% of the employed GPs salary for one year.

Instead, practices and GPs can be reassured that they are free to offer salaried posts or partnerships without any financial penalty whatsoever. In fact, we encourage practices to use LocumDeck as a means of identifying future substantive staff!

LocumDeck puts GPs in the driving seat. The rising demand in general practice has pushed GPs into working conditions that many feel are eroding safety and are beyond the limit of human endurance to be making well-judged, safety-critical decisions. We feel that that the person who is doing the work and taking clinical responsibility is best placed to decide their safe working boundaries.

In allowing GPs to tailor their terms and workload for each practice setting, which by definition the practice has to accept to make a booking, the Instant Book feature of LocumDeck gives professional autonomy in setting safe working boundaries.

Picture this; at a calm moment, with a cup of tea on hand, you sit down with your online calendar to plan your working patterns for the next few months.

First, you add all those important non-work commitments like holidays and family events. LocumDeck’s calendar clash feature will now block you from inadvertently adding any work into these slots without a big red warning message appearing.

Then you build your work availability around these. For each available slot you add, remember that a practice only ‘sees’ the specific session type you have set up for them that fits within the availability you define.

And then, that’s it! No more day to day hassle of responding reactively to booking enquiries and having to make rushed decisions ‘on the go’. No negotiating over rates or terms - the practice has already accepted your pre-defined terms in making the booking.

So you just wait for the confirmation emails, notification texts and your booking calendar to fill up with work within the professional framework that you have designed and have had full control over. And generating invoices and pension forms literally takes one-click, with the practice also getting their own summary on their LocumDeck.

LocumDeck's richness and ease of use now brings so much control to GP locums that you can now specifically define and, just as importantly, keep track of every single booking's agreement.

In terms of T&Cs for specific practices, and specific sessions, the way we've enabled that is to allow the locum to specify these preferences in about five different places to state specific terms.

Terms & Conditions - Settings >> T&Cs

  • Firstly, in your T&Cs, in each section, we have an 'other' button. Click that, and type "See specific session confirmation for further information", or words to that effect.

Defining and adding new sessions Sessions >> Setting types and rates.

  • On-call
    • Specifically select a type of session that is 'on-call'.
  • Number of patients etc
    • Customise the name of sessions, which is where we see a lot of our locums call a session "17 patients at 10 mins", for example.
  • Visits
    • Mark whether you are prepared to carry out home visits.

Making a booking Bookings >> Add new

  • Another opportunity to customise the name of sessions under "Name and description of session you want to appear on email confirmation"
  • Add specific session definitions in "Notes to appear in confirmation email:" on

In each practice's address book Settings >> Practice

  • This is used a lot by our members who are using Instant Book. Click on Practice statement and notes and specify specific T&C for that practice. So when a practice is making that booking, they will see exactly what you're prepared to do in your session.

LocumDeck's richness and ease of use now brings so much control to GP locums that you can now specifically define and, just as importantly, keep track of every single booking's agreement.

In terms of T&Cs for specific practices, and specific sessions, the way we've enabled that is to allow the locum to specify these preferences in about five different places to state specific terms.

Terms & Conditions - Settings >> T&Cs

  • Firstly, in your T&Cs, in each section, we have an 'other' button. Click that, and type "See specific session confirmation for further information", or words to that effect.

Defining and adding new sessions Sessions >> Setting types and rates.

  • On-call
    • Specifically select a type of session that is 'on-call'.
  • Number of patients etc
    • Customise the name of sessions, which is where we see a lot of our locums call a session "17 patients at 10 mins", for example.
  • Visits
    • Mark whether you are prepared to carry out home visits.

Making a booking Bookings >> Add new

  • Another opportunity to customise the name of sessions under "Name and description of session you want to appear on email confirmation"
  • Add specific session definitions in "Notes to appear in confirmation email:" on

In each practice's address book Settings >> Practice

  • This is used a lot by our members who are using Instant Book. Click on Practice statement and notes and specify specific T&C for that practice. So when a practice is making that booking, they will see exactly what you're prepared to do in your session.

In LocumDeck, go to Settings >> Credentials and upload your documents into the relevant place.

Whenever you confirm a session with the practice, they will get a link to all these documents for their records.

Practices can also see these when viewing your profile before and after booking you using Instant Book.

Yes you can. Although not currently elegant, what you can do is just uncheck all the different clauses in the NASGP T&Cs, and instead - in one of the text boxes - just say that you're using your own T&CS and that they're in your 'Credentials'.

And lastly, upload your own T&Cs to your credentials section.

All that said, if you prefer your own T&Cs, please let us know which clauses you feel the NASGP's T&Cs falls short in, and we can then work with you to get your clauses added to NASGP's options.

"If I get paid for some locum work right on last day of the month for work done that month, but don't receive the Locum A forms back from the practice until after the 7 th, does it matter if I submit my Locum B form in the middle of that following month, even though it will still be within 10 weeks?"

You have two options - either create a "supplementary B form" (LocumDeck does that automatically for you, and send that with a quick Post-It explaining the issue), or in LocumDeck, mark the date as paid when you receive the practice's 'official receipt of pensionable work' i.e. your signed Locum A form, which means the corresponding Locum B form the following month will have all the correct details.

Thanks to HE for your question.

Aspects of LocumDeck don't yet work on smartphones in any consistent way. For example, some aspects don't work on Safari but do in Chrome, and vice-versa.

For the time being, we strongly suggest sticking to the PC/Mac versions, and as more members start using the Instant Book features, we'll be able to invest in the development of a specific Android and iPhone app.

Due to popular request, we're investigating how to import information from Locum Organiser and MyLocumManager - if you have export data you'd like us to import, please get in touch.

We’ve done everything possible to make double booking on LocumDeck a rare occurrence.

We have built in complex logic to block LocumDeck from double booking you if you are using Instant Book - even including time-of-day sensitive travel times between work locations and your own chosen travel limits and break times.

If you are adding your own booking to your LocumDeck, there is a ‘calendar clash’ feature which will block you from adding a booking or event into another commitment.

Contact both practices urgently to resolve the issue. Bear in mind that, when adding your availability to LocumDeck, you accepted Terms and Conditions that committed you to any sessions booked using Instant Book.

Many locum agencies and booking platforms have restrictive clauses that reserve the right to charge either the locum, or the practice, or both, a substantial fee (often in the region of 15% of the GPs salary for one year) should a practice then go on to employ the locum as a partner or salaried GP.

We have no such policy at NASGP, and instead encourage you to explore exciting job opportunities in as many supportive practices as possible.

Even with Instant Book active for a specific practice, that practice can still liaise directly with you and ask you to book the session from your end and bypass the 5% NASGP service charge. This is perfectly acceptable for a practice to do and does not breach NASGP’s T&Cs. Some people just prefer things the old way, or they may have a good reason to do so. It is entirely up to you to accept or decline this approach and, if the latter, you could say as much in your Practice Statement for that practice.

A practice can only see your availability if you have agreed to let that practice book you using Instant Book. You can add any practice to your LocumDeck address book, and only activate Instant Book for certain practices, or all of them or none of them. Even if Instant Book isn’t activated for a practice, you can still book and confirm your own sessions with them, send invoices etc, all through LocumDeck, all as part of your NASGP membership.

LocumDeck was launched in mid-February 2017, so to begin with there won’t be any! In which case, add the practice manually, paying particular attention to the practice manager’s email address and practice postcode, so that when the practice does sign up for LocumDeck, your practice details will be automatically matched to the practice’s. When a new practice signs up within an area defined by you, you’ll be sent an email letting you know.

When you send an invoice to a practice, the NASGP invoicing system automatically generates a unique invoice number and, if you're claiming NHS pension, a Locum A form.

From an accountancy point of view, if you have undercharged, it's fairly straight forward to generate an additional invoice (see below) for the extra amount. If you have overcharged, or need to cancel an invoice then, strictly speaking, you need to update your 'books' by issuing a credit note to the practice for the cancelled invoice's amount which will, equally, update the practice's accounts books to show that the amount for the outstanding invoice has been covered by the credit note. Nope, they didn't teach us that during GP training!

We have not (yet?!) created the ability to cancel, amend or issue credit notes, but it's firmly on our list of functions to add.

Meanwhile, our advice is to

  • Inform the practice as soon as possible that you need to revise the invoice, and ask them how they would prefer you to do this, to keep things as simple for them.
  • If you've left out certain charges, we suggest you create a new Session type in invoicing settings, specifically for this purpose, and create a session in the same month as the other sessions. This will ensure that the relevant Locum A information is also generated, that will also then be reflected in the relevant Locum B form when the payment is received.
  • If you've charged too much, please contact us  giving as much detail as possible so that we can see if we can resolve this for you.

NASGP publishes advice for practice managers on what to do when things go wrong with a locum. As stated in LocumDeck’s T&Cs and elsewhere, NASGP does not perform any checks on the locum and cannot directly support either the practice or the GP locum.

LocumDeck was launched in mid-February 2017, so to begin with there won’t be any! By setting up your practice on LocumDeck, we’ve automatically emailed every NASGP locum on the NASGP database (currently 2,500 members nationally) within a 45 minute commute of your practice, telling them that a new practice has been added near them on LocumDeck. We will soon be adding a feature whereby you can invite any other locums you know to sign up to LocumDeck.

LocumDeck is completely free to practice managers.

It keeps a record of all your locum invoices that have generated by locums using LocumDeck. You can print the invoices out if you want, and coming Spring 2017  you'll be able to export all these invoices in one go as an Excel spreadsheet.

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When the GP locum made their details available to you and published their availability on LocumDeck, they accepted a commitment to any bookings then made, in advance, using the Terms and Conditions that they specified so this should be a rare occurrence. Please contact the locum direct to resolve the issue.

We’ve designed LocumDeck to make this impossible - unless we have a bug in the system! When a practice is in the process of actively booking one or more locums using Instant Book, it automatically blocks those locums’ availability for up to 60 minutes. The worst that can happen is that between selecting a locum prior to Instant Book and then confirming the bookings, another practice may have swept in and gone through this two-step process quicker than you.

By enabling Instant Book, the GP locum has made a commitment to honour any booking made using Instant Book. At the moment the booking is made by you

  • The GP locum is sent a text message.
  • The locum is sent an email confirmation, copying in the practice manager and the practice’s designated booking manager (if one exists).
  • The locum’s calendar is updated with full details of the booking, and the booking is also added to the practice managers list of upcoming sessions.

Despite this, it is still the responsibility of the GP locum to commit to their declared availability and keep a close eye on their calendar.

Locumdeck's Bookkeeper updates itself completely automatically from the rich information generated from all the travelling and locum work you do, and also allows you to add other financial data too to cover all your self-employed work. At any time, you can export any data you need, and also generate a smart financial report for your accountant or financial advisor.

Bookkeeper is integrated into LocumDeck - click on the Bookkeeper tab at any time to integrate the pages of information within.

Automatic

  • Smart session counter to help you work out the number of 4-hour equivalent sessions for indemnity purposes.
  • Number of sessions worked.
  • Total amount earned.
  • Breakdown of employer pension contributions.
  • 'Reimbursed' travel costs as applicable (not part of your pensionable pay).
  • Paid/unpaid status of invoices.
  • PDF copies of all invoices and automatically completed Locum A and B forms.
  • Mileage (automatic)
    • Between home and practice
    • Between practices
    • Individual journey details

Manual

  • Cremation fees
  • Medical reports
  • Private work
  • Lecturing
  • Appraisal
  • Work invoiced outside of LocumDeck
  • etc
  • Export reports
    • Fees
    • Earnings (by date worked)
    • Invoices and pension contributions
    • Mileage
  • Mileage (manually added)
    • Visits
    • Other work travel
  • Expenses
    • Subscriptions
    • CPD
    • Admin expenses
    • Travel expenses (other than mileage)
    • etc

So much of Bookkeeper has been made possible from generous feedback from our existing users of LocumDeck and the support of Liz Desnely and her team from Honey Barrett.

Getting started

  • Join up as an GP registrar member using the same email address that MPS use for you. As soon as that's done, we'll automatically adjust your membership to add 12 months free NASGP membership for the period after you qiualify.
  • If you're already a full NASGP member, please email us so we can organise you cancelling your direct debit.