FAQs for GP locums
Special Covid-19 LocumDeck session types
LocumDeck enables locums to state exactly how they want to work, and part of this is adding as many different session types as you need. Below are some examples of ‘session types’ that you can define and add your rate/pension too. Feel free to use and adapt these to completely customise your LocumDeck session types. Each session type has a 100-character limit.
Risk minimisation measures
- In surgery, will see patients face-to-face if triaged by any staff.
- X consults – 10 min appt – F2F if ‘Triage-First’ (48 characters)
- In surgery, will see patients face to face WITH PPE if triaged by any staff
- X consults – 10 min appt – F2F if ‘Triage-First’ and only with PPE (66 characters)
- In surgery, will see patients face-to-face ONLY if triaged by me.
- X consults – XX min appt – ‘Triage-First’ – F2F only triaged by me (66 characters)
- In surgery, will see patients face-to-face WITH PPE and ONLY if triaged by me.
- X consults – XX min appt – ‘Triage-First’ – F2F only triaged by me, with PPE (76 characters)
- In surgery, phone call or video only.
- X consults – XX min appt – phone/video only (43 characters)
I am shielding
I can only work from home and have all appropriate IT, access and software licenses for use with the clinical practice IT systems specified in my LocumDeck settings. [SYSTEM] = eg e-Consult, TonsMor etc
- HOME BASED – xx consults – xx min appt – Phone-only – [SYSTEM] (62 characters)
- HOME BASED – xx consults – xx min appt – Phone/video – [SYSTEM] (63 characters)
Have had Covid-19 – ‘immune passport’
- We don’t know yet if this is even a thing.
- Awaiting guidance on PPE and hygiene measures for clinicians who are deemed immune to Covid-19.
- If you hear news before us, let us know!
Can practices book me directly on LocumDeck?
Yes. You can pre-set your terms and your sessions and rates in each practice and then switch on ‘Book me’ against your chosen practices. From ‘My availability settings’ and the ‘Show me as available for booking’ switch on your calendar you can control when your practices can book you.
If you are in NASGP Locum Chambers this will be the main way you get the work you want quickly and with minimal day to day hassle. The Chambers Managers support and oversee the process and help you and the practices with any complexities e.g. queries, cancellations, complaints special requests etc
If you’re not in Locum Chambers you have the flexibility to add your own bookings alongside taking pre-set instant bookings.
New! A quick guide to LocumDeck changes
A major LocumDeck upgrade was released on 3 September 2020. The Help section will be updated rapidly in the coming days but some FAQs, though still relevant, show the old system.
Here’s a quick guide to the LocumDeck changes while we get your Help section back in order
Linking with practices on LocumDeck
Why can't I edit a practice's details or information?
You will always be able to edit a practice’s details that you’ve entered manually – just clock on the practice’s information in your practice address and start typing.
But once a practice signs up, or if you’ve added (‘linked’) a practice from the national list already on LocumDeck, the practice has control over the parts of their record that they have responsibility for, and these will be un-editable by you. So in order to update this information, you’ll need to contact the practice direct.
This email might help:
I believe the contact details for your practice on LocumDeck may be out of date, and as this record is owned and controlled by your practice, only you have control over that information.
Please log into LocumDeck here www.locumdeck.org.uk
I'm linked with a practice on LocumDeck. What can they see about my bookings and invoices?
A practice you are linked with can only see certain information related to work that you are booking with them. So on their calendar, they can see Confirmed (Green) and Confirmation requested (yellow) sessions. If you have allowed Instant Book, they will also see sessions that you have made available to them. They can click your profile to see your T&Cs and any Credentials you have allowed to be visible to practices. They cannot see any personal or other work commitments in your calendar.
What is linking?
Linking with a practice on LocumDeck allows the practice to:
- Synchronise their practice details with those in your address book so you are always up to date
- Get your invoices with automatic Locum A forms directly, as well as by email
- E-sign paperless NHS pension forms and return them to you instantly
- Have a clear record of all your manually booked and confirmed sessions with them
- If you have chosen to allow them to Instant Book, they will be able to see your live Committed Availability and Instant Book any sessions you authorise for them.
How does linking happen?
It happens automatically if you add a practice to your address book from the LocumDeck list of practices, or if you manually add a practice to your address book that has details that precisely match a practice already on LocumDeck.
If there is a partial match between details of a practice in your address book with those of a practice on LocumDeck, you are offered the chance to synchronise with a practice.
If you manually add a practice to your address book that is not yet on LocumDeck, they are sent an email letting them know that an anonymised GP locum has added their practice to an address book and informing them what LocumDeck is and what it can do for their practice. And that it’s free for practices!
When the practice signs up to LocumDeck, you can then link with them: either automatically if there is a precise match in the information they add about their practice; or, if there is a partial match, you’ll be asked by email if you want to link.
How will I know if I'm linked with a practice on LocumDeck?
- In your practice address book, a chain link icon appears against the practice when you’re linked.
- In a linked practice’s record, you’ll find that the Work location and Contacts information is read-only as this is synchronised with the practice – the rationale being that the practice should be better able to keep you up to date with any changes in contact details.
Adding your own bookings
How do I add sessions not invoiced or booked through LocumDeck?
As you’d expect from NASGP, our values are to support direct relationships between GP locums and practices. So LocumDeck phase 1 was built with this as our priority. But we fully recognise that many members have portfolio careers and carry out valuable GP work in organisations other than practices and we hear from members who want to be able to schedule work and track their financial data without using the confirmation, Instant Book or invoicing functions of LocumDeck. The good news is that as more members use LocumDeck, it gives us more feedback and more means to improve LocumDeck and build in this flexibility.
Meanwhile, here’s how to schedule your non-LocumDeck work so that all your earnings data is captured in Bookkeeper and, if you’re pensioning the work, for your Form Bs.
- Add the practice or organisation to your address book. If the practice isn’t already on LocumDeck, you can add it manually to your LocumDeck address book. If you don’t want the practice/organisation to get a notification telling them that you’ve manually added them to LocumDeck, simply use your email address in place of theirs.
- Add your sessions worked at that practice or organisation to your LocumDeck calendar so that the financial data is added to your LocumDeck financial tracking data in Bookkeeper.
- Once the date of the session has passed
- if you are not claiming NHS pension for the work, you can simply leave the sessions as “ready for invoice” on the calendar – this means the fee will be picked up in Bookkeeper and included in your earnings by “Date worked”. This may also help with your mileage too if you are able to add the relevant address and postcode to each work assignment.
- if you are claiming NHS pension for the work, you can then pass these earnings through LocumDeck without triggering any notifications to the organisation by creating an invoice and using the green SAVE button. This will generate a Form A and its relevant data all ready for Form B, and all your Bookkeeper data is updated too.
Where's the 'pension included' button on LocumDeck?
LocumDeck does not have a “pension included” button as we believe that enabling practices to set “pension inclusive” rates has a pernicious, negative impact on the NHS pension rights of GP locums.
NASGP has received reports from many colleagues that “pension-inclusive” rates can enable practices to lower the fee paid to locums who are claiming pension compared to those who are not claiming pension.
In our view, this is a dubious practice and arguably breaches the practice’s legal obligation to pay the employer’s pension contribution in addition to the locum’s fee, without lowering the locums fee solely for the purposes of avoiding pension payments.
So NASGP believe it is far more transparent to clearly separate out the session fee and employer contribution elements so that it is clear to all parties that a pensioning locum is accepting a lower fee in comparison to a non-pensioning locum.
Calculate pension-inclusive rate
But there are still going to situations where, despite all of this, a figure for a pension-inclusive rate is needed.
In which case, if you divide your rate by 1.12942, you’ll arrive at the exact pension inclusive rate, which you can then round to two decimal places.
- NB if you round 1.12942 to either 1.13 or even 1.129, you can get a wrong final figure e.g. for £1,000
- £1,000/1.13 = £884.96
- £1,000/1.129 = £885.73
- £1,000/1.12942 = £845.41
How to manually add your own bookings
Sara runs through adding your own bookings
Can I set different types of session with different rates of pay?
Yes. LocumDeck is about allowing you to define your safe working conditions so you have flexibility and control in setting up your own session types and rates, and you can add as many as you need. You are provided with some helpful underpinnings for your session, such as specifying whether it’s on call, whether you’re agreeing to do visits etc, but the rest is up to you.
As well as using the session description to add key information about the session, you have other chances to add notes about your working conditions:
- When manually making your own booking, you can add notes to your confirmation emails.
- When using the optional Instant Book feature, you get to add your own notes to the practice in your Practice Statement.
Confirming your own bookings
Video | How to confirm bookings
See our video on how to confirm your own bookings.
What's the difference between Request confirmation and Manually confirm?
Request confirmation allows you to send the practice an automated email that allows them to preview the booking details and either directly accept the details by clicking a link – which automatically confirms the sessions – or reply to you for further discussion. Manually confirm means you are confirming the booking yourself, presumably because you are confident in the booking details via another route.
I've sent a Request confirmation but not heard back from the practice
There is an automatic reminder email sent to you and the practice if the session is not confirmed within 7 days. It is recommended that you consider contacting the practice by another route if the booking remains unconfirmed. Firstly, your usual email contacts (practice manager and optional additional booking contact) may be away from the practice. Or your email addresses for the practice may be incorrect or out of date. This is far less likely if you are linked to the practice on LocumDeck (a linked practice is one you’ve added from NASGP’s growing list of practice members), as one of the benefits of this connection is that you are synchronised with the practice’s contact details. In addition, a linked practice will also be able to see your Confirmation requested (yellow sessions) on their calendar and booking summary, making it less likely that will lose track of your bookings.
Pre-set instant bookings
How can LocumDeck help me determine my rates?
We’ve created a calculator to help you arrive at a ballpark figure taking into account covering your professional and personal running costs.
But in addition to your circumstances, there may be local factors at play which could influence your locum pay environment. If you’re new to an area or new to locuming, how do you work out what rates to charge?
Simply asking around is not option, with anti-competition laws being quite clear about the illegality of discussing rates with fellow GP locums.
Local factors that may affect GP locum pay
- Supply of locums – the more locums, the more potential for downward pressure on rates. We hear this from members in the more vibrant towns and cities, perhaps with a local GP training scheme that then attracts and retains lots of GPs to start out as locums.
- Presence of a dominant practice-facing online platform or agency. We hear from members that having one of these in your area can sometimes skew the pay and conditions of local independent locums in a downwards direction.
So how can LocumDeck’s Instant Book help?
With Instant Book, the whole point is that you carefully pre-define your booking parameters for each practice, including the pay rate, in advance, and then publish your terms and availability and wait for bookings. So you can make calculated judgements about the pay you would like to receive and use Instant Book to do the talking for you. Bear in mind too that the Instant Book process itself will add to your ‘value’, as practices are being offered a speedy, transparent way of booking a GP – a task that might otherwise cost them significant workload and resources.
Here’s how you can use Instant Book to experiment with your rates
- Add a local practice to your LocumDeck address book where you haven’t recently worked.
- Set a sessional/hourly rate for that practice at the level that you’d like to be booked at.
- Activate that practice for Instant Book.
- Add ‘Committed Availability’ to your LocumDeck calendar as far in advance as possible.
- As and when practices Instant Book you, you’ll soon be able to use your judgement if your rates are too high or two low, and you’ll be able to adjust your rates accordingly.
If you run this experiment for a range of practices and add availability over a range of periods in advance, you’ll soon start to build a picture of the local factors that may affect your rate decisions.
Our experience of using Instant Book is that once practices have used it, they return to it as their favoured booking method, further cementing its value to them. It is a win-win tool – locums have more control over their work and pay, whilst the practice saves significant resources in finding and directly booking locums.
Optimise your settings to maximise your bookings
- Adding a photo of yourself helps
- Help the practice manager by adding helpful documentation and information about yourself in your Credentials area
- You can upload your patient and colleague feedback surveys
- Highlight your experience or any special skills you have in the freetext Professional profile area
I like the idea of Instant Book but I work different session types at different times of day and my schedule varies on different days of the week
You will be fine. Instant Book was designed for this and gives you flexibility and control.
You get to define the outer limits of when you could work when you add availability to your calendar- think of your Availability as a big container like a bucket, into which you can fit session types of different shapes and sizes. For each individual practice you can then define which types of sessions you want to work, complete with a start time and duration and as many other parameters you want to set (e.g. max number of patient contacts, appointment length etc)
Instant Book works out whether each of these sessions has a start time and duration that fits into your availability slots.
If I add morning and afternoon, or all day availability, how can I be sure I won’t be booked in practices at opposite ends of my patch, leaving me with inadequate time to travel between them?
We recommend you watch “Richard and Sara talk Booking defaults”.
But two things to bear in mind
- LocumDeck uses Google maps to calculate the typical journey time between practices based on likely traffic conditions at the time of day you will be travelling. So, if there is not enough time between finishing a session in practice 1 to travel to a session start time in practice 2, then you will not be visible or bookable by practice 2.
- You can also set the maximum journey time duration you are prepared to travel between practices in Booking defaults >> Travel and breaks
- Again, using Google maps, LocumDeck calculates the typical journey times taking into account traffic conditions at that time of day and any practice that is beyond the journey duration you have set will not be able to book you.
- Top-tip | If you only want to work in one practice a day, just set the travel between practices at 0 minutes and, once you’ve got a booking with a practice for part of that day’s availability, no other practice will be able to book you.
How does LocumDeck's 'Instant Book' booking system work?
Pre-setting your availability for instant booking (called ‘Instant Book’ on LocumDeck) is about GP locums being able to pre-define everything about the way they work, and when they can work. LocumDeck’s algorithms ensure that practices can only book you for the sessions you would have agreed anyway. Hence, GP practices can book you instantly if what they need exactly matches what you want.
It’s still a relatively new way of working for freelance GP locums. But NASGP’s booking method is used within Locum Chambers and some 500,000 GP locum sessions have been booked in this way in the NHS so far.
When you set up ‘Instant Book’ in LocumDeck:
- You authorise which practices are allowed to see your real-time availability.
- 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 ‘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 only ‘sees’ the sessions that you allow them to that fit within your ‘Available’ slots.
- Practices can see your credentials and your full term and conditions alongside your session availability to inform their booking decision.
- Once you have set up your availability and your working conditions with each of your practices on LocumDeck, you will be notified by text and email confirmation when you receive an ‘Instant Book’ booking on LocumDeck.
New! A quick guide to LocumDeck changes
A major LocumDeck upgrade was released on 3 September 2020. The Help section will be updated rapidly in the coming days but some FAQs, though still relevant, show the old system.
Here’s a quick guide to the LocumDeck changes while we get your Help section back in order
Can I pre-set availability for instant booking for some, but not all, of my practices?
That is absolutely fine. You switch on ‘Book me’ at the level of each individual practice, selecting which session/s and rates you want to work for them.
Cancelling a booking
How do I charge a cancellation fee?
Generally you can invoice the practice your cancellation fee by creating a session type called Cancellation fee and adding this as a booking to the relevant date in your calendar. Then invoice in the usual way. Please note that cancellation fees should not be pensionable under the NHS scheme.
The following two options help you do this depending on whether you wish to invoice for a late cancellation on the date of the cancelled work OR for a cancellation in advance of the work due.
This will works when the cancelled session date is reached and the cancelled session has become ready for invoice
- Go to Create invoice & Form A
- Click Update session by the affected session and you’ll open an edit panel
- Edit the session description to say ‘Cancellation fee’.
- Edit the Total fee to reflect your % session fee
- Untick if you are claiming pension as the cancellation fee will not be pensionable
- Add a Note to appear on the invoice if you like
- Now Update session
You can preview the invoice and repeat the above steps of Update session again until the invoice is amended to your satisfaction.
If you want to invoice in advance of the date of the cancelled session, simply create a booking today or the date you received news of the cancellation – call its session description ‘Cancellation fee’ and add your fee. You can update it to add a Note to appear in invoice explaining the date of cancelled session, notice period and and session fee payable according to your Terms as per the steps in Option 1. You can then cancel the actual session on the 2 April.
How do I set up a cancellation policy?
In LocumDeck settings’s T&Cs section, you can generate your own personalised T&Cs using NASGP’s T&Cs picker. This includes a cancellation policy section.
Your T&Cs are linked to every email that is sent to the practice. What’s more, if you are linked with a practice, they can easily access your up-to-date T&Cs via your profile.
How do I cancel a confirmed booking?
- Click on the session in your calendar.
- Then click ‘Edit or cancel booking’
- You will be taken to LocumDeck >> Bookings >> Edit or cancel with the relevant session already selected on the right hand side in Session list
- Click the red dustbin icon next to the session details. ‘Awaiting cancellation’ will appear in red text.
- Now you have a choice of two ways of informing the practice, depending on the circumstances of the cancellation.
- Ask practice to confirm
- Rewinds the confirmed booking to a booking “Awaiting cancellation” in your calendar and the practice’s calendar and sends you both an email of the proposed cancellation. The practice can click a special link within the email to cancel the booking. Or they can confirm the cancellation within LocumDeck.
- Manually confirm
- Immediately removes the booking from your calendar, the practice’s calendar and sends you both a confirmation email of the cancellation.
- Ask practice to confirm
Editing or changing a booking
How do I change a session that is booked in the future?
You can reach the Bookings >> Edit/cancel page by clicking on a session in your calendar or via the menu.
- Reserved (red) sessions are between you and your calendar. As far as LocumDeck knows, the practice has not been sent any notification of these reserved, draft sessions so they can be easily deleted with one click from your calendar.
- For Confirmed (green) or Confirmation requested (yellow) sessions there are extra steps of informing the practice of the cancellation or change. Use the tickboxes to select the session you need to change from the Session details queue on the leftt – this takes them across to the right hand side, where they can be edited. After editing, you can decide whether to immediately Manually confirm the changes or Ask the practice to confirm them.
- There is handy on-screen help via the ? icons if you need it.
Video guide | How to add mileage for tax purposes.
See a video guide on how to add mileage.
Video guide | How do I update a session that I have worked?
e.g. to change the fee, add visit costs, charge for more time etc
Video guide | How to update a confirmed (green) session
Invoicing and pension forms
How should I calculate box j on Locum Form B?
Box j will be calculated by cumulatively adding the totals of pensionable pay received as shown in box a of your Form Bs. It will start calculating from your April 2021 Form B and continue through the pension year to your March 2022 Form B.
Why doesn't Locum Form B show my pensionable income accurately?
Locum Form B is about recording the date you received pay and pensioned your pay (used for your tax year).
Your ‘pensionable income for the pension input year’ is based around the date work was carried out (as recorded on your Locum Form As), with work carried out from 1 April to 31 March being allocated to a pension year as pensionable income.
As we all know, the month that work is carried out is not always the same month that payment is received. Very often there is a crossover with work carried out in one month being paid and therefore included on the following month’s Locum Form B – or even the subsequent Locum Form B – particularly at the end of the pension year (around March/April time).
The pensionable pay is often allocated to the correct pension input year by the PCSE when the Locum Form A and B are processed, but a cumulative total in Box j on the Locum Form Bs may well include income from locum work carried out in the previous pension year – March 2021 or earlier.
Do I have to complete box j on Locum Form B?
Yes. It is currently mandatory to complete box j, in the belief that it will help some GPs who may be massively out of step with their contribution tier.
Luckily, LocumDeck will make this easy for everyone.
- Row j will be calculated automatically, according to the definitive, written clarifications from NHS BSA
- You will be automatically prompted to use separate invoices and the correct Locum Form A for work carried out pre and post 1 April. In this way, Locum Form A will allocate your work to the correct pension year.
Why does my Locum B form have blank practice details?
The practice name that appears on your Locum Form B and the EA code is taken from inside the practice’s record, under the Contacts tab (highlighted in red on the screenshot).
This is manually added by you if it is a manually added practice that you are yet to link with, or by the practice manager if it is a linked, synced practice.
So if the B form practice details are blank, it means either you and or the linked practice have not added the name and EA code.
The reason the practice name and EA code are added separately is there is limited space on the B form for the practice name, only 25 characters. Often abbreviated names are therefore needed to prevent the B form becoming illegible.
If the practice details are blank, you can remedy this by immediately reversing the B form (red cross next to the B form in Your Locum B forms tracker).
- If it affects your own local copy of an unlinked practice, you will then be able to go into the practice record and add the details yourself.
- If it is a linked practice, the practice will have control of this information. Please contact them to add their abbreviated name. Or get in touch and we can help the practice amend the details.
How do I electronically sign (e-sign) a pension form?
E-signing works when you are linked with a practice. Certain information relating to your bookings and invoices are shared with them, including instant sharing of your invoices and any Locum Form As. In return, the linked practice can e-sign your Form A and confirm they have sent payment in a couple of clicks, and this is instantly shared on your Invoice>>History.
It’s all designed with on-board help to make it as easy and straightforward as possible, but here it is broken down into steps.
- Add your electronic signature
- Go to your LocumDeck >> Settings >> Payments & pensions to add your electronic signature.
- You can recreate your signature using mouse, or some find it easier to use a tablet or smartphone and signing with your finger or a stylus.
- Send your invoice and Locum A form in the usual way
- No signature is added at this stage as this is not needed when you send your Form A to the practice.
- E-sign by practice
- The practice gets an email notification of your invoice and are told that if they login to LocumDeck they can e-sign your Form A.
- The practice manager is led through setting up their electronic signature. They only have to do this once, and then for each subsequent Form A, they are asked to certify your work and pensionable pay, add the GP you were covering for and the date and method of payment.
- Notification of e-signing and payment
- Once the practice has approved and signed your Form A, you are informed by email. XX practice has signed your Form A form
- In your Invoices >> History, the invoice status will be Payment sent, and the e-signed Form A will appear in your Form A column in green and labelled as e-signed by practice.
- Mark as paid and approve A form
- When you are confident payment from the practice has arrived, you can mark it as paid – either from the Mark as paid page or from the Invoice History page using the slide down to reach the Mark as paid button
- Ready for Locum B
- The A form is now labelled as Ready for Locum B
- Generating e-signed A&B
- Go to Locum B,
- select the month – this will summon all the invoices and related A forms that were marked as paid during that month.
- The e-signed A forms will be labelled as e-signed by practice
- Select all the invoices and Form As to be included on the month’s B form
- Click Generate e-signed A&B
- Your e-signature is added to all the Form As that have been e-signed by practices
- All e-signed As are merged into one file for easier sending to your relevant pension agency
- All A forms and the B form are stamped with the Unique Identifying Reference UIR, necessary for processing of your pension forms and payment by the pension authorities.
- You are alerted if any of your Form As were not e-signed by the practice. These will need to be have your signature added by other means e.g. printed and hand-signed. But the on-screen messages reassure you that these manual A forms are still included in your B form calculations
- Send your completed Locum A & B forms
- Your now fully e-signed A forms are available in Your Locum B forms tracker in a single downloadable file shown as green A form icon next to the relevant Form B.
Why isn't my electronic signature on my locum Form A?
LocumDeck adds your signature to all Form As that have been e-signed by the practices at the point that you request LocumDeck to generate your e-signed Form B. At the same time, all your pension forms are stamped with the UPR and all e-signed Form As are merged into one file for easier sending.
Form A is your claim to the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) to pension work performed at a specific practice for that month, so your signature to authenticate your claim needs to be added to Form A before you submit it to NHSBSA. It is not necessary for your signature to be on Form A before you send it to the practice.
Verified NHS email accounts?
As we only add signatures to Form A after they’ve been signed by the practice manager, and as the practice manager can only have a LocumDeck account if they have verified their NHS email address, and they’ve by then also had the pleasure of you working at their practice and having access to your credentials, PCSE are perfectly happy that by the time the Form As get back to you for signing via LocumDeck that the form has been through at least one verified NHS email account as well as several other opportunities for you to be identified as a bone fide GP.
Video guide | How to create an invoice and Locum A form
Video guide | How to update a session before invoicing e.g. adjust fee, add visit charge etc
I or the practice wants printable copy of invoice
No problem – after you made your invoice in Create invoice and Form A, click Save; this will save a copy of your invoice and Locum A form straight to your Invoice history. From there, you can click on the Invoice number to open up a printable copy.
Equally, as soon as you save or send an invoice, it will instantly appear in the practice’s own LocumDeck account as a pdf, and the practice manager can download and/or print invoices there.
Video guide | Sara’s quick video guide on how to print an invoice
What happens if I send my B form for the month and another payment comes in?
No problem. You can generate another Form B for the month – as many as you need. It will be called [Month][Year] Supplementary in Your Locum B Forms archive.
I want to send my invoices to another contact at the practice.
No problem. In the practice’s record in your address book – (Settings >> Practices), under the Contacts tab, you can add a separate Invoicing contact, alongside the practice manager. They will both get copies of your invoices and any associated pension forms. You can also add a separate Booking contact who will receive all your confirmation emails and be able to confirm sessions if you send a confirmation request.
When does LocumDeck generate 'Locum B' forms?
LocumDeck summons invoices depending on the date they were ‘marked as paid’, and includes them on that month’s B form.
For example, if you work in March, invoice in April and receive payment and mark the invoice as paid in May, LocumDeck will summon this invoice for inclusion on your May Locum B form.
So the first thing to check is, if you’re not seeing the invoices you expect, whether you have actually been paid for the work.
The system has been designed to help you keep on the right side of the pension agency rules, which dictate that the Locum Form B is a record of pay received during a calendar month, regardless of when the work was carried out. If you’re still at a loss, then please contact us.
Video guide | How to mark an invoice as paid and generate a Locum B form
When should I send invoices?
Whenever and as often as you like. There are no rules. Some invoice at end of month, others bi-weekly. But it’s probably more important to build a habit of regular invoicing and pension admin that fits your work routine.
Our experience is that most locums invoice at the end of the month.
One time-limit to be aware of with invoicing is that you cannot pension work that was carried out more than 10 weeks ago.
How do I send an invoice?
A session becomes ‘ready for invoicing’ once it is underway – it then appears as pale blue in your calendar.
- Invoice session by clicking the session on your calendar or via Invoices >> Create invoice & Locum A
- When you tick the sessions you want to invoice, you will see the invoice, complete with automatic pension calculations, appear on the right hand side.
- Email invoice
- sends it straight to the practice manage and invoice contact
- Printable copy
- saves the invoice into Invoice >> History where you can click on the invoice number to get a printable copy.
- In both cases, the invoice details and any pension contribution are also automatically saved in Bookkeeper.
How do I generate a Locum B form?
All invoices and their associated Locum As that have been marked as paid in a calendar month will be available for you to add to that month’s Locum B.
- Go to Invoices >> Locum B
- Select the month for which you are generating your Locum B.
- All pensionable invoices that were paid in that month will be displayed.
- Tick the checkboxes next to each invoice to add their payments to the Locum B – this adds the information from their associated Locum A to the Locum B.
- Choose between Generate Locum B or Generate e-signed A & B
Generate Locum B
- If your Locum As are still signed by hand by the practice, then Generate Locum B will populate your Locum B, allowing you to sign the included Locum As by hand and send them on, with Locum B, to your pension agency.
Generate e-signed A&B
- If some of your Locum As have been e-signed by the practices, then this option will not only generate your Locum B, but process all practice e-signed Locum As too
- adding your e-signature
- adding the UPR
- merging all e-signed Locum As into a single file for easier sending
- if there are any straggler Locum As that have not been e-signed by the practice, their information will be added to the Locum B, and you’ll be alerted to sign them by hand.
Off-locum invoices for chambers members
Will the Chamber help me if I have an issue relating to off-locum work?
- Off-locum work is not considered part of your Locum Chambers work. You entirely manage it yourself and do not pay any chamber fees relating to off-locum work.
The flipside of this flexibility is that the chamber manager and clinical governance support structures will not be available to support you through any complaints, significant events, or other matters arising from off-locum work.
The exception to this would be where discussion of a purely clinical significant event in a chambers meeting could be of benefit to other Chambers members.
But where there are any significant events arising from system errors, the Chambers cannot intervene or act for you as off-locum work falls outside the clinical governance systems of the Locum Chambers.
Will I be charged a chamber fee for off-locum work I add to LocumDeck?
No. Your off-locum work is not considered as part of your Locum Chambers work.
- Where a ‘per-session’ chamber fee applies (depending on local arrangements between your chambers and the locality) you will not be charged a chamber fee on your off-locum work that you add to LocumDeck.
- You will manage your own administration of these sessions including the booking process, managing any invoicing and payment collection. The chambers team will not be available to support you through any complaints, significant events, or other matters arising from off-locum work.
What type of GP work would be considered as ‘off-locum’ and can be added to LocumDeck by you outside of Locum Chambers?
Locum Chambers are here to support you in your freelance GP locum work in standard, core general practice where you would otherwise be working in isolation. Chambers provide wraparound support from a team of peers managers, clinical director and a clinical governance framework.
Any GP work where similar support is provided by the service you are working for is considered as ‘off-locum’ work that can fairly be added by you to LocumDeck without undermining your Locum Chambers.
- Features of off-locum services
- The service has its own booking or rota system and is not able to book you via the Locum Chambers.
- Payments are made directly to you via a salaried system or ad-hoc fees with any pensionable work claimed using GP Form solo.
- The service has its own inhouse clinical governance and support services. This is important because
- Commonly these services will be some form of an OOH service e.g. provides ad hoc services for patients not registered with the practice.
- Other examples would be deputising services, GP co-operatives, walk-in centres and minor injuries/illness units.
Cancelling an invoice
Introduction to cancelling an invoice
This is simple to do on LocumDeck.
- Go to your Invoices >> History
- Open up the invoice details by using the slide down arrow at the end of your invoice’s row
- Click Cancel invoice and follow the on screen help.
The process will vary slightly depending on
- whether and how you sent the invoice or just saved it to your records
- whether cancelling the invoice will involve breaking the sequence of your invoice numbers.
This is because, legally, invoices are significant documents – they represent your right to charge someone money. So there are two important accounting requirements that have been built into LocumDeck to keep your records in tip-top shape.
- If an invoice has been sent, a credit note should be issued to offset the cancelled invoice in both your and the practice’s accounts.
- Invoice numbering should be sequential.
How do I cancel an invoice I have already sent on LocumDeck?
When you were creating your invoice, if you chose to Send it, this means the invoice was emailed to the practice and, if the practice is linked with you, instantly shared securely on their LocumDeck. In your Invoices >> History, the invoice will initially show as ‘Sent. Unpaid’, then changed by the practice to ‘Payment sent’ and finally ‘Payment received’ once you mark it as paid.
- To cancel an invoice that has been received by the practice, follow the on screen help to generate a Credit note
- You’ll be asked if you want to add a reason for the cancellation. This will be shared with the practice as well as for your own records.
- You’ll be prompted to Approve and send the credit note, which will also be stored in your own Bookkeeper and Invoices records.
How do I cancel an invoice on LocumDeck?
Some members choose to Save an invoice and then download or print to send to the practice.
Once the invoice is sent you can Mark as sent from Invoices >> History to help you keep track of your invoices and payments. If the practice is linked with you, once you Mark as sent, they will also be able to access a copy of your invoice from their LocumDeck (open the invoice details by sliding the down arrow at the end of the row and you will find Mark as sent.)
Cancelling invoices sent manually will involve generating a credit note for your records. It is best practice that you also issue the credit note to the practice for their records. LocumDeck gives you the flexibility to decide how you want to do this.
- From Cancel invoice, follow the on-screen help
- You’ll be given the option to add a note about the reason for the cancellation. This will be shared with the practice as well as for your own records.
- You can either Save or Approve and send the credit note
- If you Save the credit note, you will be able to print or download it to send on to the practice.
- Approve and send will immediately email the credit note to the practice and, if they are linked with you, share the credit note with them on LocumDeck.
How do I cancel an invoice I have saved on LocumDeck?
When you were creating your invoice, if you chose to Save it, this means it is only on your LocumDeck, and the practice will have no record of it. It will show as ‘Saved. Not sent’ on your Invoices >> History
If the ‘Saved. Not sent’ invoice you’re cancelling is
- the last invoice created, and therefore has your latest invoice number, you’ll simply be able to cancel it without generating a credit note – doing this will not involve breaking your invoice number sequence.
- Just follow the on screen help after you’ve clicked cancel invoice; you’ll be asked to confirm that you want to delete the invoice and then it’s done.
- not the last invoice created, you can’t simply delete the invoice as it will break your invoice number sequence. The cancelled invoice will remain saved in your records, marked as cancelled and a credit note will be saved to your Invoice and Bookkeeper records to offset the cancelled invoice
- Just follow the on screen help – you get the option to add a reason for the cancellation; and then click Save.
Why can’t I cancel an invoice that has been added to a Locum B form?
Once the Locum B form is generated, the invoice’s record is considered complete and becomes locked.
And when you open up the invoice details by sliding the down arrow at the end of the row it will show the invoice sent date as set with no ability to edit the sent date.
I have overcharged a practice. How can I correct this?
One alternative is to cancel the invoice with the overcharging error. This will usually involve generating a Credit note which offsets the cancelled invoice in your records and the practice’s records. Then create a new invoice for the correct amount. Alternatively, if you’re working again at that practice, it is possible to manually adjust the final price you charge for one or more future sessions when you come to generate those invoices.
It’s not yet possible to issue credit notes which only partially credit back some of the invoice amount.
About your calendar
Displaying your LocumDeck calendar on your devices
Add LocumDeck calendar to Google calendar, appear on all devices
- Go to your LocumDeck Calendar on a PC/Mac and click on the blue synchronise icon at the top right of calendar – a URL will appear that looks like webcal://www.nasgp.org.uk/espip/calendar/o3DqSFeJ2HvhOT…
- If you’re in Chrome, signed into your Google account, your Google calendar should open up and ask you to add direct to your Calendar. Click Add.
- If you’re not in Chrome, or this doesn’t happen, copy the URL that appears and, in your Google calendar, go to Settings >> Add calendar >> From URL and just follow the instructions.
- Assuming you’ve already set up your Google account on all your devices, make sure that you’ve set your new LocumDeck calendar to display on all your devices.
Add LocumDeck calendar to each device separately
Login to your LocumDeck on your chosen device
- Go to your LocumDeck Calendar and click on the blue synchronise icon at the top right of calendar
- You will be asked if you want to “Subscribe to the calendar”
- Your subscribed calendar will be named “NASGP – Your name”
If you also want your LocumDeck calendar to show on another device e.g. your tablet or smartphone, you’ll need to log in from that device and repeat the same procedure.
Remove a synchronised calendar
Open up whatever app or calendar it is you’re viewing your synchronised information on (Outlook, Apple Calendar, Google Calendar etc), or go to the devices system Settings >> calendar/accounts (device-specific), and remove the subscribed calendar.
How to ensure your device’s calendar gets regularly updated
Behind the scenes, your smartphone, tablet or PC has subscribed to a unique webcal link that enables your device to access your LocumDeck calendar from the cloud. As with any subscribed calendar service, the frequency with which your device is able to do this depends on a few factors e.g.
- the quality of your wifi/internet or data connection
- how powered up your device is
- how often your device is set to fetch your calendar data
Please check your device’s settings to ensure that it is set to fetch data at a suitable interval.
- Go to iPhone/iPad Settings >> Accounts & Passwords
- Select Fetch new data
- At the bottom of the screen under Fetch, you will usually find that it is set to “Automatically”, with an explanation that this works ‘only when on power and wi-fi’.
- If your phone/iPad calendar seems to be taking a long time to sync and/or you are often off wi-fi, then switch it to regular timed Fetch depending on your circumstances e.g. choose Hourly, Every 30 Minutes or Every 15 Minutes.
For PC calendars like Outlook
- Open Outlook, Calendar etc
- Go to Options (Outlook), settings etc.
- Find the Preferences Tab
- Click on Calendar Options
- Choose Free/Busy Options
- Set the Update Interval to a time that suits your needs
I can’t see my LocumDeck calendar on my device
- Please remember that you need to set up the calendar on each device.
- Check on your device that your LocumDeck calendar is selected to be shown.
- See How to ensure your device calendar gets regularly updated.
Such is the variability between devices (smartphones, tablets, PCs, Macs), operating systems (Windows, iOS, Android, Apple OS) and calendar apps (Outlook, Google Calendar, Timepage) that a definitive guide to troubleshooting would probably stretch from here to the moon!
But our experience is that and synching issues with your device’s calendar can be sorted by deleting the ‘Shared Calendar’ account from your device, rebooting your device, making a cup of tea, and re-adding again from LocumDeck
e.g. for iPhone
- Settings >> Passwords & Accounts >> Subscribed Calendars >> Name of Calendar >> Delete Account
- Calendar app >> Accounts >> Subscribed Calendars >> Name of Calendar >> Delete Account (or similar variant there of)
Your Terms and Conditions
Where can I set up my Terms and conditions?
- Go to LocumDeck >> Settings >> T&Cs
- Here you will find a customisable T&Cs picker with suggested tickboxes or the option to leave freetext by clicking ‘Other’
- Click ‘View my T&Cs’ in the top right corner to see how it displays to the practices, along with an archive of your previous T&Cs.
Where are my T&Cs displayed to the practice?
To practices you are linked with on LocumDeck, your T&Cs will be included on your profile and visible to the practice whenever they access your profile.
Your T&Cs are also included in any LocumDeck generated email sent to the practice. E.g.
- Request confirmation or final booking confirmation emails
- Your invoice emails to the practices.
I want to use my own set of Terms and Conditions
You can upload documents in LocumDeck >> Settings >> Credentials. We suggest that you use one of the freetext options within the LocumDeck >> Settings >> T&Cs to state that you have uploaded your own T&Cs in the Credentials section.
What if my terms and conditions vary between practices?
In LocumDeck, the T&Cs are intended for essential, ‘boilerplate’ conditions that you want to apply as a baseline to all your work e.g. requiring a secure, unique IT system log in, wanting to be paid on time, your cancellation policy etc.
We totally understand, and know from our own experience, that you may have varying conditions for each practice you work in and LocumDeck is totally designed around giving you the flexibility to define your working boundaries for each booking and for each practice e.g. different minimum consultation lengths, numbers of patient contacts etc
If this is the case, in the relevant section of LocumDeck >> Settings >> T&Cs, we suggest using the ‘Other’ options and then using the freetext to explain this e.g. “Minimum consultation length as specified at the time of booking”.
You can also add extra wording to each practice’s profile in your address book, so that when you’re booked using Instant Book, you’re given an extra layer of ability to specify your working conditions in each specific practice.
How to tailor your sessions for each practice and each booking
If you’re adding your own booking, you can tailor your session and put conditions around the booking at three points
If you’re using Instant Book
- Use step 1 above to define your Session type to whatever level of detail you like.
- Use Practice Statement within each practice’s record to specify any other conditions you need to work effectively in that practice. (see below)
Using LocumDeck to find work
There are a few of ways you can use LocumDeck to find work, either in your familiar practices or exploring new ones.
- Add practices to My Practices .
- Every time you add a practice, either by finding a practice on LocumDeck’s list of practices, or by manually adding a practice that is not yet on the global list, the practice receives a notification that they have been added by a doctor who is interested in trying to link with them on LocumDeck. This can be a great first introduction to a new practice.
- Pre-set your availability and terms to get instant bookings:
- In Set up guides we have a step by step introduction, ‘Get booked by practices’ which can get you started.
- Look out for Availability requests from local practices
- If a practice on LocumDeck needs cover but no GPs have yet proactively made themselves available pre-set instant booking on the dates they need, the practice can put out an Availability request, which goes to members within a 45 minute travel radius.
- You can quickly respond by clicking on the request on your calendar, and selecting a session to offer for booking. The practice is notified that you have responded. In LocumDeck, they can review your profile and terms. And then book you.
What are Availability requests?
If a practice on LocumDeck needs cover but no GPs have yet proactively made themselves available for Instant Book on the dates they need, the practice can put out an Availability request, which goes to locums within a 45 minute travel radius.
As a GP, you receive an email notification of which practice is looking for cover and you can find more details by logging in to LocumDeck and clicking through to the Availability request shown in orange on your LocumDeck calendar.
The practice can specify basic details such as date, start and end times of the cover. They can also add more detailed information about their requirements e.g. they are nudged to specify the type of appointments (triaged, on call, walk in, f2f, telephone etc), typical number of contacts expected, whether admin duties are required and which other members of the healthcare team will be present or whether you’ll be working as a lone clinician.
If I’ve responded to an Availability request and added bookable Availability to my calendar but haven’t yet got a booking, do I have to keep the Availability in my calendar?
If the Availability has not been booked you can remove or change your bookable availability whenever you like. Obviously this is very different once a confirmed booking has been made. A booking made by Instant Book on LocumDeck is a confirmed booking and, like any other booking made by other means, doctors should carefully consider whether cancelling confirmed work is appropriate.
What does the practice(s) see when I respond to an Availability request?
Practices are notified by email that bookable availability has been added for their practice. When they login to LocumDeck they can review the bookable work you are offering, alongside any Credentials and T&Cs you have added, and are able to make an Instant Booking.
How do I know if a practice on LocumDeck has received my response to its availability request?
The simplest way is that practices will make an online booking based on the work you have offered them. If an instant booking is made, you are notified by text message and email confirmation, and you can login to see full details in LocumDeck. Basically, there should not be any surprises as the booking will be on the terms and pay rates that you pre-decided when you offered the bookable availability.
Will I hear back if the practice do not want to book me after I’ve offered bookable availability?
Not within LocumDeck – If you don’t receive a booking confirmation, then it’s fair to presume the practice has found another way of meeting their needs. The Availability slot will remain in your calendar and it’s up to you what you want to do next e.g.
- If the Availability is just for the requesting practice and they haven’t booked you within a timeframe you think is reasonable, you could delete the slot and add availability for all your activated practices
Are Availability requests made personally to me by a practice?
Not at the moment. Currently, Availability requests are sent to all locums on our membership database within range of the practice who wish to receive them. If there is interest from practices and our locum members in allowing practices to be more specific and personal in their requests, we are all ears to feedback.
How do I respond to an availability request on LocumDeck?
Respond by going to the Availability request shown in orange on your calendar.
- Click to open the request pop-up and see more information about the practice and whatever information they’ve given you about their cover requirement.
- Click the pale green ellipsis icon in the top right hand corner to see Respond or Decline options
- Decline removes the request from your calendar. The practice is not informed when you decline.
- Respond takes you through some steps to offer an instant bookable session to the practice
- Once you send your offer to the practice, they are notified by email and can login to look at your profile, including your terms and conditions, the session you’re offering and your fee.
- If they book you, you get an SMS text notification, a confirmation email and you’ll be able to see full details of the booking in your calendar.
Spip Help and FAQs
How long does it take to set up a Spip?
Step 1 (OPTIONAL*) | Network-Cudos – 4 hours initial setup, 20 minutes/week thereafter
- Performed by a Network (CCG, federation etc) employee (manager, administrator or clinical lead) who has oversight of where links and documents are published or stored.
- Accessible to unlimited number of the Network’s practices.
- Arriving Summer 2016.
- * If Network-Cudos not available, practice can add this information to their own Cudos – 2 to 4 hours initial setup, 10 minutes/week
Step 2 | Practice Cudos – 2 to 4 hours initial setup, 10 minutes/week thereafter
- ‘Simply’ transferring information from the practice’s address book to their practice’s Cudos.
- Performed by designated practice employee (user assigned as ‘Editor‘ by the practice manager).
- Unlimited number of practice staff who need to access information in Cudos, such as contacts and practice policies, can be assigned as ‘Staff’ by the practice manager.
Step 3 | Practice Spip – 2 hours initial setup, 10 minutes/week thereafter
- Performed by practice manager and/or other experienced manager.
- Selects which information to display from the Network-Cudos (if available) and practice’s own Cudos, and adding other relevant information specific to their practice.
Step 4 | Practice Spip – 1 to 2 hours review, 10 minutes/week collectively thereafter
- Performed by one or more practice GPs (users assigned as ‘Editors‘ by practice manager).
- Unlimited number of users who need to access any of this information for the purposes of patient care are assigned by practice manager as ‘Clinician‘.
What is a Spip ‘Editor’?
The owner of a Spip – ‘Practice’ – can upgrade a Clinician to an Editor.
In addition to everything a Clinician can do, an Editor is also able to populate and edit Spip itself, keeping it up-to-date and relevant.
A Practice can invite as many Clinicians or Staff as it likes to help it ‘crowdsource’ information.
It’s easy to downgrade an Editor back to a Clinician.
How can Spip help me recruit GPs?
- A well organised and up-to-date Spip says a lot about how your practice supports all clinicians and staff to do their job safely, efficiently and effectively.
- They’ll have more time, and less stress. A survey we carried out in September 2015 about a typical morning surgery revealed that, on average, locum GPs spend 20 minutes, and GP partners 10 minutes, trying to find precisely the sort of information found in Spip.
To help practices recruit, we’ve produced a Spip logo that we encourage you to include with any correspondence with locums, add to your job adverts, and include on your website etc, to give assurances about the importance of giving clear information to your clinicians.
Getting started with Spip (GP practice guide)
If you are creating a Spip you are probably taking on the Practice role.
The Practice is the lead role in Spip. This person will have authority from the practice to create a Spip and need an NHS email address to register their practice. They will usually be a practice manager or another senior member of the practice team.
However, an interested Clinician can make a start on creating a Spip (with the practice’s permission), by the practice manager changing their role within Spip to Editor.
Think of Spip (Standardised practice induction pack) as a standardised, easy to search display cabinet. You populate Spip by responding to queries set out in the standardised template.
Much of the information you add will be stored in Cudos (Centrally updatable directory of services)
To begin Spip’s QuickStart, in Spip navigate to The practice >> Getting here >> The practice.
If we’ve already got DXS/Map of Medicine, why do we need Spip?
Think of Spip as the information air traffic control of your GP practice, while services like DXS and Map of Medicine are the different airlines. Information used in GP practices comes from many different internal and external sources, and DXS/Map of Medicine are only one of these, and are generally outside the control of the practice.
Spip is practice-specific, focused on enabling a Clinician at the point of use to run a safe, effective and efficient consultation, or a Staff member referring to up-to-date information about practice processes. This encompasses far more than is contained in a local guideline.
For example, a local guideline may simply state “Arrange urgent ultrasound scan”. Enacting this seemingly simple instruction will actually involve the Clinician having access to lots of bits of information about how your practice works:
- How do I organise an urgent ultrasound in this practice?
- Do I just send a form or do I also have to phone radiology?
- Where are the referral forms?
- How does this practice handle urgent referrals?
- What’s this practice’s policy on informing the patient of the results?
- Is completely controlled by you and is centred around your practice rather than the CCG.
- Does not require an NHS smartcard, and is not integrated into the clinical system. So it can be accessed by any clinician from a smartphone or from home, during visits, and before visiting a practice for locum work for the first time – or any time!
- Uses a standardised format – all practice Spips have exactly the same structure – which is quick and easy to navigate, so you can direct Clinicians to key information about how your practice works and how you link up to local guidelines.
What is a Spip ‘Individual or role’?
Individual or role is one of the four different types of Cudos item.
- is any single person.
- doesn’t need an actual name; can be just entered as their role.
- can be someone from an Organisation, an Internal department, service or policy or from a Single service or premises.
- can also be added without associating them with any of the above.
- e.g. like you, any GP or staff member in your practice.
Can’t doctors just ask the receptionist?
They – being a GP, nurse, locum or new team member – could just ask the receptionist, but:
- The receptionist may not know the answer. Often this is the case, and a time-consuming game of “pass the parcel” ensues, taking up time of multiple staff. This is no bad reflection on anyone in the practice team; it’s just there’s so much to know and it’s always changing, so it is not reasonable to expect the duty admin team to be ‘know-it-alls’.
- It wastes time – not just the person seeking information (often a GP in the middle of a busy surgery), but the receptionists too.
- It undermines the GP-patient relationship: “If the GP doesn’t even know how to refer me to physiotherapy, how do I know she’s even made the correct diagnosis? I know, I’ll rebook to see another GP.”.
What is a ‘single service or premises’ in Spip?
Single service or premises is one of the four different types of Cudos item.
How do I create a Spip for a practice?
The person who initially sets up a Spip takes on the lead role, known as ‘Practice’, is responsible for administrative tasks such as managing other Spip users e.g. controlling who can view and edit Spip.
Therefore, usually the practice manager is best placed to initially set up a Spip by registering for Practice Manager membership of the NASGP.
Spip is included free as part of Practice Manager membership.
- You will need an NHS email address ending in
Once your Spip has been created, you can change your email address to a non-NHS email.
If you are a locum GP who wants to be involved in creating Spips for practices you work in, you can become a ‘Spip Clinician’ by registering with the NASGP as an Associate (free) or Full member. Once signed in, you will be able to ‘Invite new GP practice’ to create a Spip.
If you are a GP wishing to create a Spip for your own practice, unless you want to take on the administrative tasks of managing Spip users, the best route is to ask your practice manager to register for Practice Manager membership and set you up as a ‘Spip Editor’.
What is a Spip ‘Internal department, service or policy’?
Internal department, service or policy is one of the four different types of Cudos item.
- is always part of an Organisation e.g. diabetic clinic within a GP surgery, ENT unit within a hospital or community podiatry service as part of a community trust.
- shares a postal address with their parent Organisation.
- can also be a pathway of policy within an Organisation e.g. complaints procedure or a care pathway.
Why does my practice need a Spip?
NASGP’s Standardised Practice Information Portal (Spip) allows any practice to present all 200+ items of shared information immediately in front of all its clinicians at the point of patient contact.
Although every GP knows tens of thousands of ‘bits’ of clinical information that he or she can formulate into a diagnosis and management plan within minutes of seeing a patient, when it comes to managing that patient’s condition, they need to have access 200+ ‘bits’ of very localised non-clinical information about practice processes affecting safe patient management (e.g. managing test results, referrals, handover arrangements, prescribing procedures etc) and how the practice interacts with local resources.
Even for an established senior partner, practice processes, regulatory requirements and other local non-clinical information can change at a frightening pace, so having instant access to this information isn’t just a luxury but a central requisite of modern patient management.
It’s far safer, and more efficient, to spend two minutes updating information centrally in Spip than having a GP interrupt their surgery for 10 minutes to ask a staff member or another GP.
Now take into consideration the position of a locum GP, who can typically work in around 30 different GP practices every year, where in each of these practices, practically all these 200 ‘bits’ of non-clinical information can be alien to them. By enabling all clinicians caring for your patients to have instant access to your Spip, you’ll be empowering them to be better at what they do, and more efficient. No more time wasted having to interrupt the consultation to ask for simple but essential non-clinical information.
Locums may be most at risk of falling into pitfalls created by gaps in information about practice procedures but practice-based GPs and staff may also be prone to errors and misunderstandings. For instance, evidence from Medical Protection suggests that 57% of 107 practices undergoing a Clinical risk self assessment (CRSA) were found to have risky referral systems, often related to lack of understanding of referral protocols by practice staff and clinicians.
- Improve the quality of admissions and referrals by all clinicians who work in your practice, whether full-time, part-time or an ad-hoc locum basis, by making sure all this information is at their fingertips. Especially useful if you’re taking on a new partner, salaried GP or GP registrar.
- Increase efficiency by enabling any clinician or staff-member to access any piece of important information about patient management within 3 clicks of a mouse, whether they’re in surgery with a patient, at home or on a visit.
- Improve patient safety by publishing simple but important practice-specific procedures and safety-netting information for all clinicians and staff to relay to patients.
- Better value for money from ad-hoc staff and clinicians such as locum GPs and nurses; they can review your Spip before arrival, access it on the day, and they’ll be able to spend more of their time on direct patient care rather than having to bother busy members of staff.
- Satisfy the CQC that you are publishing essential information to all clinicians and staff who care for patients in your practice.
- Reduce errors by having this information in one central place that can be updated instantaneously.
What is an 'Organisation' in Spip?
Organisation is one of the four different types of Cudos item.
- an establishment that has more than one Internal department, service or policy and/or Individual or role within it e.g. a GP surgery, hospital, community trust etc.
- offers services via Internal departments, services or policy.
- is based at one postal address.
- you will probably only have a few of these.
What is Network-Cudos?
Network-Cudos (Centralised Updatable Directory of Services) allows any CCG, GP federation, practice hub or a provider to centrally populate its own relational database of records that then seamlessly integrate with any related practice’s Spip (Standardised Practice Information Portal).
To set up a Network-Cudos, you’ll need to sign up for it here. You’ll also then need to invite local practices to share it with, and they will have to accept your invitation.
By having a Network-Cudos, a CCG, GP federation etc can maintain a complete live database of all local organisations, departments, individuals, roles, services, guidelines, pathways and policies. Each of the Network’s practices can then choose any of the Network’s records to be displayed within its own practice’s Spip, and even customise some of the Network’s information for practice-specific use.
All of this extra functionality is in addition to a practice’s own Cudos and usual Spip.
Is Spip mobile-friendly?
Yes. A Clinician can use Spip from a smartphone using wifi or data (3G or 4G).
Can Spip help with CQC compliance?
Yes. Spip is ‘CQC-ready’, with a dedicated section to easily categorise, store and display all your necessary policies.
Spip is a great way to demonstrate to the CQC that the right information is available at the right time to all members of your practice team to allow effective implementation of all your practice procedures. So Spip will not only provide you with a ‘go to’ place for your team to refer to and update information, in creating it, you will also making your CQC compliance less onerous.
See what the CQC has to say about Practice packs.
- Spip allows you to upload, link and add freetext notes for handy summaries and ‘soft intelligence’ about key practice operational procedures. It is a live, interactive, centrally updatable system designed to be easily searched and navigated.
- Once you’re up and running with Spip you will be able to show the CQC that your Staff and Clinicians need never be more than 3 clicks away from information they need.
- GPs can already access key practice policy information that directly affect them as Clinicians e.g. chaperone policy, complaints procedure, clinical handovers, appointment system and access arrangements, practice prescribing procedures, contamination incidents etc.
Managing risk and quality
Monitoring quality of services
- On every Spip page displayed to your team there is a feedback comment system with a prompt to report any problems with a service at the point of use. This intelligence can be collated by the practice for discussion at internal meetings and/or to be raised with the local commissioners and providers.
Patient communication and reducing risk
- Throughout Spip you are prompted to add detailed information about Safety netting, missing results procedures, delayed referrals etc.
- The aim is for everyone in the team to have this information available quickly so that after every patient contact, it is clear to the patient and the practice what is expected next.
Co-operation with other providers of services
Spip is designed to provide up-to-date information which the Clinician can access at the point of need. You have the option of adding enriched information about each service which would equip the Clinician with:
- Awareness of the existence of a service.
- Understanding exactly what the service does; the boundaries of roles and responsibilities between the service and the practice, fostering good team working.
- How to access the service and up-to-date resources to do this e.g. referral forms.
- What to tell the patient about what to expect next.
- Interactive feedback; ability to leave comments or tips for future Clinicians; ability to report a problem with the service; ability to inform you if service details need updating.
Can I get my local ‘Network’ to update my Spip?
The best way to get your CCG, federation, GP hub or hospital helping you is to use the ‘Network‘ invitation (coming summer 2016) function within your Spip Dashboard. This is where a Practice can invite a parent organisation e.g. CCG, GP federation etc to create its own central Network-Cudos, whose information can also be viewed, copied or synchronised by practices, and allow practices to integrate Network-Cudos information across its own Spip together with practice-specific information from the practice’s own internal Cudos.
Who adds information to Spip?
The person who first signed up for the Spip – usually the practice manager, ‘Practice‘ – has full control over the information that appears in their Spip, as well as being able to input information themselves.
Practice, via their Dashboard, will also invite Clinicians to view their practice’s Spip, and can also reassign any Clinician to become an Editor.
Editors will usually be members of your practice team who are familiar with your practice procedures and local services e.g. GPs, medical secretaries, practice nurses. An experienced, trusted locum could also be a suitable editor. Editors can keep Spip up-to-date in the same way as Practice.
Even Clinicians can contribute to your Spip’s completeness by leaving comments on any Spip page.
Will any third parties be able to see our Spip data?
Never. The only other people authorised to view your practice’s information are the NASGP’s clinical directors, who will from time-to-time monitor how practices are using their Spips so that NASGP can continually improve Spip.
NASGP is registered with the Data Protection Act.
How was Spip developed?
15 years ago, locum GP and NASGP chairman, Dr Richard Fieldhouse was named ‘Sessional GP of the Year’ by the Doctor newspaper. The award recognised his development of the inspired GP ‘Practice Pack’, in essence, a one-stop paper portfolio for busy GPs which could be updated with a practice’s key information, such as local referral pathways and vital admin information.
Fast forward to 2015 and the need for such readily accessible, highly localised and practice-specific information, is even more compelling as health care tends to be delivered by an ever-increasing and ever-changing array of services and teams. In the intervening years technology has transformed how such information may be stored, accessed and updated.
So Spip – a secure online platform inspired by the earlier paper version – has taken over two years for Sara Chambers and Richard Fieldhouse to develop. Both are sessional GPs with over 35 years collective experience of having worked in over 150 different GP surgeries throughout their GP careers.
MPS have supported the development of Spip and CQC have helped with advice.
Who owns Spip information?
All information and data added by a practice to a Spip and its corresponding Cudos belongs to that practice. See our Terms and Conditions for more information.
What if I don’t have time to add information to Spip?
Research conducted by the NASGP found that, on average, GP partners spend 20 minutes a day, and locums 40 minutes a day, having to ask someone else for essential information about practice processes or how the practice interacts with other service providers. And then factor in the time of the person they’re asking who has been interrupted from their duties. And then the risks of delays, increased work and costs, and lapses in patient care if accurate, up to date information is not available.
And that’s just a GP survey. What would a similar survey of practice nurses and the administrative team reveal?
So a couple of minutes adding a practice policy, a useful contact or a care pathway could repeatedly save a clinician, a patient and other members of your practice team many multiples of the time it takes to add it.
Spip can help with CQC compliance so completing Spip could be seen as part of your CQC preparation – but with the added benefit that you’ll also be creating a live, easy access, interactive, centrally updateable information portal for all your team to refer to in their daily work.
It is not the intention that one individual will complete Spip all at once.
Some frequently-used or safety-critical items you may wish to add immediately. It’s likely that this core of around 20% of the items in Spip will be used 80% of the time, so for a relatively small investment of time – 2-4 hours – you could have a very useful Spip that will already be improving safety, saving precious time and reducing frustration for your over-stretched practice team.
Less commonly used items can be added “on the go” over time by your team of Editors. Some items you may decide never to complete if you feel they are not relevant to your setting.
- Others can help you crowdsource information.
- See our suggestions on how to prioritise adding information to Spip.
- This will allow a GP network, such as a CCG, to independently populate a Network-Cudos and make it available to local practices.
- After accessing a Network-Cudos item e.g. a care pathway, practices can add their own specific information about how that information is implemented in their practice.
Spip | Who can see the information within Spip and Cudos?
This all depends on what role the Practice has assigned you.
|Practice||Own & Edit||Own & Edit||View||A single authorised person within the practice who controls and manages Spip and Cudos. Can add and delete contacts in Cudos and content in Spip; can invite anyone to be a Clinician and change the status of Clinician to Editor or Staff. Can also invite and activate Group.|
|Editor||Edit||Edit||View||Same as Clinician; can also add and delete contacts in Cudos as well as in Spip.|
|Staff||View||View||View||Same as Clinician; can also view Cudos.|
|Clinician||View||Hidden||Hidden||Can view all content in Spip that has been authorised for viewing by Practice or Editor. Can not directly view Cudos.|
|network||Dummy||Hidden||Edit||Can only be invited by Practice; can add and delete contacts in a separate Network Cudos. Can not view any contents in Spip. By inviting a Network (e.g. a single contact at a CCG or a GP federation) to add and delete contacts in a separate network Cudos; Practice or Editor can choose to also use contacts that have been added by Network.|
How much does Spip cost?
Starting August 2016, Practice Manager membership of the NASGP is now free. Spip comes free with that membership.
Spip has the additional capability to link with any local networks (CCGs, federations, practice hubs etc), for which that network will pay a small monthly charge of no more than £24 for each practice it links to.
It’s also always free to Editors, Clinicians and Staff.
A Practice can:
- Add as many Editors, Clinicians or Staff it needs; although all users have to sign in with an email and a password, they will never have to pay to join the NASGP.
- Cancel their membership at any time.
- Ask us to remove all their data at any time, otherwise we will automatically remove all Spip data after one year. A Practice, and therefore all its Clinicians, Staff etc can re-access its Spip at anytime simply by rejoining.
What is Cudos?
Cudos stands for ‘Centralised Updatable Directory of Services‘ and is like a smart address book designed specifically for general practice. Unlike a regular address book, it allows for one item (e.g. a person, service or policy) to be linked to another item (e.g. a practice or hospital)in a specific way.
- By creating a relationship between items, it greatly reduces the need for duplication, enabling the information to be always as up-to-date as it can be.
- Cudos also allows you to attach enriched information and resources to each item.
- You can link, upload or otherwise direct users to referral forms, policies and care pathways.
- Any item that you’ve created in Cudos and then selected for display in Spip can be edited in either, and changing one always reflects the change in the other.
- By following the Spip-Tips throughout Spip, the Practice role can create and present any of this stored information at any point throughout Spip.
- All this information is then presented to the Clinician role at the point of need in the appropriate places throughout Spip.
- Although Spip is by far the best place to quickly look up information, the Practice can also enable users associated with your practice to be an Editor or Staff who are able to directly access Cudos.
Cudos has four different types of item:
- Like your practice or a hospital. You’ll only add a few of these.
- Anything from your surgery’s asthma clinic to a hospital’s x-ray department. It can also include any policies used by that organisation, such as a complaint’s policy.
- You can also upload documents or add links.
- Like a local pharmacy, physiotherapist or dentist. You’ll only add a few of these.
- Like you, any GP in your practice, and hospital doctor – whether by their name or by their role.
LocumDeck | Compatibility and security
The entire NASGP website, including Practeus and its associated components LocumDeck and Spip, is hosted on a dedicated server by FastUK in London, using ISO 27001 and ISO 9001. All data during transmission is encrypted and authenticated using AES 128 GCM and uses ECDHE RSA as the key exchange mechanism.
We use the very latest programming language PHP with its state-of-the-art speed and security features.
You do not need to download any software.
Like any website, although Practeus will still function using the obsolete Microsoft IE8 browser, we strongly recommend you use a secure, modern browser that runs on a modern operating system. Since Microsoft no longer supports IE8 on Windows XP or Windows 7, any PC that uses IE8 is vulnerable to security breaches.
Use a LocumDeck alternative? Use the link above to check that service too.
- We do not accept, store, transmit or process cardholder data or any payments. We subcontract all these sensitive payment handling activities to a third parties, GoCardless for direct debit payments and Nochex for credit card payments, all who comply with PCI DSS Standards.
Firewall, security and encryption
- Our site uses SHA-256 with RSA Encryption ( 1.2.840.1135220.127.116.11 ) issued by Let’s Encrypt Authority X3.
- Our front end website is hosted by mccit.co.uk, while LocumDeck is on Ionos which is ISO 27001 security compliant.
- Currently on a shared managed dedicated server but migrating to a unique managed dedicated server February 2019, again provided by UKFast.
- The entire NASGP website is also protected by a firewall provided by Sucuri, preventing the site from malicious attacks designed to steal data or deny users access to the NASGP website.
The latest advice is to ditch using complex letter/character combinations, and use passphrases instead.
New NIST guidelines recommend using long passphrases instead of seemingly complex passwords. A passphrase is a “memorizsed secret” consisting of a sequence of words or other text used to authenticate their identity. It’s longer than a password for added security, but much easier to learn.
Create unique passphrases you can remember, using whatever characters they want. e.g
- Honeymoon beach flower ketchup
- Correct horse battery staple
What is Spip?
Spip is NASGP’s Standardised Practice Induction Portal. It is a secure online platform that enables a practice team to centrally store and safely display essential information to enable any clinician working in any of its premises to manage patients quickly, effectively and efficiently.
It is not linked to your clinical IT system (EMIS, SystmOne etc) and does not contain any patient-identifiable information, so can be shared with any locums visiting your practice and can be accessed from home and on home visits. Within Spip you will find a centrally updatable directory of services – Cudos.
Do you have Spip video tutorials?
Yes. We have a growing list of Spip help videos and tutorials.
How do I set up branch surgeries in Spip?
Branch surgeries can easily be accommodated within Spip.
Small single-use branch
If a branch is used for the sole purpose of consulting, and all other activity such as blood tests happens elsewhere, then consider adding this branch as a Single service or premises.
Larger multi-use branch
These branches would include other services like phlebotomy, maybe have a treatment room or possibly many other services, in which case we recommend setting up this branch surgery as an Organisation. But otherwise, this branch surgery operates pretty much as it’s larger ‘parent’ practice.
Large multi-use branch, operating semi-independently
You’re gonna need a bigger boat. As you already have a Spip with us, please get in touch and we’ll be able to arrange another license for you.
What are the Practice, Staff, Clinician and Editor roles in Spip?
The Practice is the lead role in Spip. This person will have authority from the practice to create a Spip and an NHS email address. They will usually be a practice manager or another senior member of the practice team.
The Practice is able to:
- add and edit items to Spip and Cudos.
- manages other users of Spip and Cudos.
The Practice can invite or deactivate Clinicians:
- The Clinician role can view Spip.
- Clinicians can be any clinician working in your practice who can benefit from access to Spip e.g. practice-based GPs, GP locums and nurses.
The Practice can invite or deactivate Staff:
- Staff can view Spip and Cudos. Cudos may contain items that are just for use by your practice staff e.g. building maintenance, IT system support, health and safety protocols. You would not want to display these in Spip but you can make them accessible to your practice staff by setting them up as Staff roles.
Practice can invite Editors.
- The Editor role can view Spip and Cudos but also add or edit items in Spip or Cudos.
- Editors will usually be established members of your practice team who are entrusted to share their knowledge of practice procedures and services with Clinicians, via Spip, and with Staff via Spip and Cudos e.g. GP partners, medical secretaries and nurse practitioners.
The Practice can switch people between different roles e.g. upgrade a Clinician to an Editor so they can crowdsource their knowledge of services
How does Spip help clinicians work better?
When it comes to managing a patient in a GP surgery, we need access to one of atleast 200 items of information that are specific to that practice. If we can’t recall this from memory, or it’s not immediately accessible, retrieving this information can waste precious minutes or even hours of our time, a colleagues time and , most importantly, our patients time and even put a patient’s health at risk.
It’s those 200 bits of local, practice-based, non-clinical information that Spip enables practices to provide for all clinicians caring for their patients:
- How do I organise an urgent ECG in the middle of a busy surgery?
- What do I tell a patient about how they will be informed of abnormal blood tests?
- Which helicobacter pylori test is used at this practice?
- I’ve seen a nine year old boy with suspected testicular torsion who needs emergency referral. Which team do I refer him to?
- The local DVT pathway says ‘Do a D-dimer test’. How is this done at this practice?
- Where are echocardiograms carried out? How do I request one? What do I tell the patient about the appointment-making process?
- I’ve requested a chest x-ray on a 68 year old man with a cough. How do I alert his usual GP that he may have a significant diagnosis?
- What’s the extension number for main reception?
- Who’s the practice’s child safeguarding lead?
- I need a foreign language interpreter.
- How do I organise an urgent coil fitting as emergency contraception?
- What’s the door access code to the toilet?
Spip contains over 200 similar, simple-yet-essential everyday scenarios.
How do I use Spip messaging, comments and notes?
Simple, yet powerful
Spip comes with its own messaging, comments and notes system. It’s a great way for all members of a practice – including visiting locum GPs – to share local information about service quality.
If you have any unread messages, we’ll send you an email at 2pm to let you know, allowing you to go straight to your messaging area.
Comment on this page
All users can comment on any page within any Spip they have access too – advice to colleagues, useful tips etc.
That comment will only be visible on that particular practice’s Spip. A copy is sent via the Spip’s messaging system, and the Practice can edit the comment.
Leave a personal note
Useful for Clinicians to leave a personal note about that service for themselves. Only the person who made that note can see it.
Unlike ‘comments’, personal notes will be visible in all other Spips (on that specific page) – but again, visible only to the person who created that note.
Report service issue to Practice
Great for flagging up issues to a Practice about a service, enabling them to collect and escalate these issues further to prevent them happening again.
You must never include any patient-identifiable information in these reports.
Request page update
If you’ve looked something up in Spip but couldn’t find it, or something was out-of-date or wrong, this lets the practice know.
Toolkit | Checklist for home visits
Home visits are some of the most complicated activities that GPs do. Away from electronic records, usually after a busy surgery, through traffic, to sick or frail patients, often with multiple problems and anxious carers.
Our template helps you make the whole process go much more smoothly.
Checklist for home visits
Toolkit | Dictate referral template
These allow clinicians to make a physical record of every consultation that needs referral, reducing the likelihood of a referral going missing.
Dictate referral template
Toolkit | Locum pre-arrival checklist
To get the most out of your freelance GPs and minimise stress to your practice staff and disruption for patients, it is helpful to have the following in place in time for your GPs to smoothly start their session.