Setting up

Start at Settings >> Booking defaults, and work through the others in sequence.

See Sara’s quick introductory video

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Sara and Richard talk Booking defaults

The importance of travel and breaks, notice periods and your mobile phone number for Instant Book

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Richard and Sara chatter on (!) about how they add their session types

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See Sara’s 5 minute video guide to adding practices; with tips on linking with practices from the ‘global list’, how to customise each practice’s record.

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Yes. We call this facility Instant Book. In a nutshell, you pre-define which practices you want to work in, tailor the sessions and rates you want to work at the level of each practice and then switch them on for Instant Book. Then, whenever you have 'Availability 'in your calendar, the practices you choose will see the session and rates you have set for them that fit within when you’re available.

You can use Instant Book alongside arranging work the traditional, reactive way of responding to booking enquiries and then manually adding it to your calendar.

There is more detail in the Instant Book section of the Help area if you need it.

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Linking with practices on LocumDeck

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.

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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.

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  1. In your practice address book, a chain link icon appears against the practice when you're linked.
  2. 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.

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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.

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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:

Dear [colleague],

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

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Adding your own bookings

Sara runs through adding your own bookings

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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.

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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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Coming soon | Improved flexibility for scheduling and financially tracking non-LocumDeck work

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.

Still need a 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 to 1.12942 to 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

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Confirming your own bookings

See our video on how to confirm your own bookings.

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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.

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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.

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Instant Book

Instant Book is about locums being able to pre-define everything about the way they work, and when they can work, and then LocumDeck's algorithms ensure that practices can only book you for the sessions you would have agreed anyway. Hence, practices can book you instantly if what they need exactly matches what you want.

It's exactly the same as what locum chambers do, but without any expensive staff.

It's still relatively new, which is why any locum who starts using it now will get Instant Book free for life. Locum chambers have booked some 500,000 sessions in this way, and we're quite confident it's going to become the established way for locums to get work.

  • 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 'see' the sessions that you allow them to that fit within your Available slots
    • 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 8 am to 6pm on call session. In contrast, another practice is 30 minutes drive, 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 you have set up your pre-agreed Availability and your working conditions in each of your practice, you will be notified by text and email confirmation of Instant Book sessions.

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This is a 3 step process - simple to do but with no chance that you will ‘accidentally’ make yourself available where and when you don’t want to be.

  1. Step 1 Booking defaults
    1. Takes place in Settings >> Booking defaults.
      1. If you tick Yes you are interested in Instant Book, you will be asked for extra information about your travel times, breaks, notice periods and your mobile phone number - all needed so that Instant Book can book you in right time and place and notify you of bookings.
  2. Step 2 | Setting what sessions you want to work in each practice
    1. Takes place in Settings >> Practices
      1. Open a practice record where you would like to use Instant Book
      2. Under the Sessions and rates tab, you can select the Session type and add it to the Session list for practice.
      3. Finally click the Instant Book switch to blue
        1. You’ll either get a message telling you Instant Book is now active
        2. Or, if the practice is not yet fully onboard LocumDeck, this will be explained to you.
        3. In both cases the practice is notified that you’ve activated Instant Book for them
      4. Whilst in the practice’s record, check that the Extra duties, charges and pensions and Practice Statement are also just how you want them.
      5. Setting up Instant Book sessions for a practice does not make you visible until you have availability in your calendar.
  3. Step 3 | Show your live committed availability to practice
    1. Add availability by clicking on dates from calendar, or use the menu to navigate to Availability >> Add
      1. The available time periods you create are the outer limits of when you could work. Instant Book will look at each of the Instant Book session types you have created for each individual practice and, if a session start time and duration fits within an availability slot, it will be displayed to your chosen practice as available for booking.

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These dots show the Instant Book status of each practice.

  • Grey No Instant Book sessions set up for this practice.
  • Red Waiting for this practice to join LocumDeck.
  • Amber Waiting for the practice to enable Instant Book.
  • Green This practice can Instant Book you.
  • Link Practice information connected to practice.

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Only practices that you have individually selected and switched on Instant Book sessions for. Your chosen practices can then ONLY Instant Book sessions that you have specified for Instant Book that fit within Available slots you have added to your calendar. The deal is that if they want the massive convenience of Instant Booking you, they have to accept the terms and pay rates that you specify for them.

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That is absolutely fine. You switch on Instant Book at the level of each individual practice, defining at the level of each practice which session/s you are able to work for them. So not only can you select which practices you want to Instant Book you, but also the types and sessions and rates for each practice.

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We know what you mean! And Instant Book was designed to give you flexibility and control over your workload in each of your individual practices.
Instant Book is actually switched on by you in each individual practice’s record at the level of a session. So you can totally define every work parameter (e.g. your start time, duration, maximum number of patient contacts, appointment length, on-call status, visits and other duties etc) through a mixture of your own freetext notes and LocumDeck’s Settings.

So each of your authorised practices only 'see' the sessions that you allow them to that fit within your Available slots

  • 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 8 am to 6pm on call session. In contrast, another practice is 30 minutes drive, 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.

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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.

More LocumDeck FAQs

We recommend you watch "Richard and Sara talk Booking defaults".

But two things to bear in mind

  1. 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.
  2. You can also set the maximum journey time duration you are prepared to travel between practices in Booking defaults >> Travel and breaks
    1. 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.
    2. 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.

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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 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

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Cancelling a 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.

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In LocumDeck >> Settings >> T&Cs, 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.

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Editing or changing a booking

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.

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See a video guide on how to add mileage.

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e.g. to change the fee, add visit costs, charge for more time etc

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Invoicing and pension forms

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.

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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.

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No problem - after you made your invoice in Create invoice and Locum 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.

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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.

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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.

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LocumDeck 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. So LocumDeck will summon invoices depending on the date they were 'marked as paid' e.g. you work in March, send an invoice in early April but don't receive payment until early May when you mark it as paid. LocumDeck will summon this invoice for inclusion on your May Locum B form. So the first thing to check, if you're not seeing the invoices you expect, is when you were actually paid. If you're still at a loss, then please contact us.

More LocumDeck FAQs

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.

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 Forms A & 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.

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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.

  1. Add your electronic signature
    1. Go to your LocumDeck >> Settings >> Payments & pensions to add your electronic signature.
    2. 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.
  2. Send your invoice and Locum A form in the usual way
    1. No signature is added at this stage as this is not needed when you send your Form A to the practice.
  3. E-sign by practice
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
  4. Notification of e-signing and payment
    1. Once the practice has approved and signed your Form A, you are informed by email. XX practice has signed your Form A form
    2. 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.
  5. Mark as paid and approve A form
    1. 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
  6. Ready for Locum B
    1. The A form is now labelled as Ready for Locum B
  7. Generating e-signed A&B
    1. Go to Locum B,
    2. select the month - this will summon all the invoices and related A forms that were marked as paid during that month.
    3. The e-signed A forms will be labelled as e-signed by practice
    4. Select all the invoices and Form As to be included on the month’s B form
    5. Click Generate e-signed A&B
      1. Your e-signature is added to all the Form As that have been e-signed by practices
      2. All e-signed As are merged into one file for easier sending to your relevant pension agency
      3. 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.
      4. 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
  8. Send you completed Locum A & B forms
    1. 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.

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Cancelling an invoice

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.

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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.

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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.

More LocumDeck FAQs

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.

More LocumDeck FAQs

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.

More LocumDeck FAQs

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.

More LocumDeck FAQs

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About your calendar

For future sessions, there is traffic light colour-coding depending on the status of the session, going from red for Reserved session through to yellow for Confirmation requested, and green for Confirmed sessions.

Sessions that have started or are in the past turn shades of blue for sessions at different stages of invoicing/payment.

Hovering over or clicking on the session will further remind you of the status of the session.

More LocumDeck FAQs

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.

More LocumDeck FAQs

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

If, like many of us, you rely on your device calendar, please check your device’s settings to ensure that it is set to fetch data at a suitable interval.

For iPhones/iPads

  • 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.

More LocumDeck FAQs



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

For PC/Mac

  • Calendar app >> Accounts >> Subscribed Calendars >> Name of Calendar >> Delete Account (or similar variant there of)

More LocumDeck FAQs

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Your 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.

More LocumDeck FAQs

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.

More LocumDeck FAQs

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.

More LocumDeck FAQs

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.

More LocumDeck FAQs

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)

More LocumDeck FAQs

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Finding work

There are a few of ways you can use LocumDeck to find work, either in your familiar practices or exploring new ones.

  1. Add practices to your Practices address book
    1. 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.
  2. Set yourself up for Instant Book
    1. Dedicate around half an hour to get set up for Instant Book
      1. First get some general housekeeping done by working through Settings >> Booking defaults
        1. This covers everything from your travel preferences, what IT systems you use, to ensuring your T&Cs and Credentials are up to date and ready to share with practices.
      2. Next set your practice-level requirements
        1. Choose which practices you want to activate for Instant Book and set up the session types you want to work in each practice, whether you’re claiming pension or making any other charges etc
      3. Finally, add availability to your calendar.
        1. Adding availability is the final step to making yourself bookable by your chosen practices.
        2. The clever bit is that each practice will only “see” the specific session details that you individually set up for them in their practice record.
        3. It is very useful to display your LocumDeck calendar on your other devices - See Displaying your calendar on your devices
  3. Look out for Availability nudges and Activation requests from local practices
    1. If a practice on LocumDeck needs cover but no GPs have yet proactively made themselves available to them for Instant Book on the dates they need, the practice can put out an Availability request, which goes to all NASGP members/locums within a 45 minute travel radius.
    2. This serves as an indicator that if you make yourself available for Instant Book on that date, you are more likely to get work as you know a practice has an unfulfilled need for cover.

More LocumDeck FAQs

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Availability nudges and Activation requests

In designing Instant Book, we have tried to balance the GP locum’s needs (because we’re locums too!) of maximising our chances of getting work in our chosen practice, with those of the practices needing to find locum cover. So whenever you add availability to your calendar in response to a request from a practice, the requesting practice is immediately notified that there is new bookable availability on LocumDeck. But your availability is also open to your other Instant Book practices too. This means that you’re not just responding to the requesting practice, and it’s possible that another of your chosen Instant Book practices may swoop in and book you first. BUT NOTE this will only be a practice you have activated for Instant Book and only for the specific sessions you have activated for each practice. So you will never be booked by anyone to do anything you haven’t set up for yourself.

More LocumDeck FAQs

If you’d like to know more about the practice, you can click ‘Proceed to next step’. It leads you to the practice's record where you can see information about the practice’s location, IT system, distance from your home etc. Practices also have the option to add practice profiles and a weblink to their practice. You can bail out at any stage if you don’t want to proceed with activation.

If you’re not looking to increase your pool of practices, you can remove the orange request from your calendar by clicking ‘Decline’.

More LocumDeck FAQs

The requests get stacked up in order of the date they were made by the practice, with the oldest on the top. It’s like a pile of cards - to see what’s underneath, process the top one; either Decline or Proceed to next step - then the next request in the pile will be revealed.

Why is it built like this? Cost! This is a complex bit of bespoke kit and our wonderful IT developer is one of the greatest logicians alive - but this is the simplest, most cost-effective solution we could come up with so far.

More LocumDeck FAQs

These will be Availability requests sent out by practices that you have already activated for Instant Book. They serve as an indicator of unfulfilled demand on a certain date, and  a tip-off that if you make yourself available, you are more likely to get a booking from one of your activated practices. And as it’s one of your chosen practices, the only decision you need to make is whether you are willing or able to reactively add availability, in addition to your usual, proactively added availability. Whenever you add availability or activate Instant Book sessions in response to a request, it is not a specific response to an individual practice; it's a general adding of availability to all your Instant Book practices.

More LocumDeck FAQs

If a practice on LocumDeck needs cover but no GPs have yet proactively made themselves available to them 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.

  • If you have not yet activated the practice for an Instant Book sessions that fits the times of the cover they need, then this will appear to you as an Activation request, because you are being asked if you would like to activate Instant Book sessions that will meet this practice’s needs.
  • If you’ve already activated the practice for suitable Instant Book sessions, then their request will appear to you as an Availability nudge, letting you know that one of your chosen Instant Book practices has an unfulfilled need for cover and if you add availability to your calendar on that date, you are more likely to get work.

We look forward to a future where so many GP colleagues are using Instant Book to set their safe working standards and proactively adding their availability in advance, that a practice can find the cover they need already added to LocumDeck and never has to send out an Availability request. Happy locums and happy practices!

More LocumDeck FAQs

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Spip Help and FAQs

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.

And don't forget, your Spip practice pack can be accessed via smartphone too.

More tools for practice managers

See also

Avoiding pitfalls on home visits

These allow clinicians to make a physical record of every consultation that needs referral, reducing the likelihood of a referral going missing.


More tools for practice managers



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.

More tools for practice managers

The best person to let you know when a room needs reequipping is the last person that used it. Print some of these out and pin to each room's notice board.

More tools for practice managers

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.

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'.
  • 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.

wordblock - accredited practice pack (1)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.

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.

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!".
  • 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
    • nhs.net
    • nhs.uk
    • hscni.net
  • 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'.

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.

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.

Spip can help with CQC compliance

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 etc
  • 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.

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.

We are working hard to soon develop a group-sharing system which would allow neighbouring practices or a CCG to pool information using a shared 'Network-Cudos'.

This all depends on what role the Practice has assigned you.

RoleSpipCudosGroup’s CudosExplanation
PracticeOwn & EditOwn & EditViewA 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.
EditorEditEditViewSame as Clinician; can also add and delete contacts in Cudos as well as in Spip.
StaffViewViewViewSame as Clinician; can also view Cudos.
ClinicianViewHiddenHiddenCan view all content in Spip that has been authorised for viewing by Practice or Editor. Can not directly view Cudos.
networkDummyHiddenEditComing April 2016! 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.

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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.

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.

Arriving Summer 2016 - Network-Cudos

  • 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.
  • 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 will be able to add as many EditorsClinicians 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.
  • A Practice can cancel their membership at any time.
  • A Practice can 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.

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 7.2 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.

If you're able to, we strongly recommend you upgrade to a modern browser like Google Chrome, IE10, Firefox or Safari to run alongside IE8 if it's still needed for NHS legacy websites.

We are also A-rated for security headers (takes a few seconds to load).

Use a LocumDeck alternative? Use the link above to check that service too.

Payment processing

Cloud server

Sucuri firewall

  • 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.

Using passwords

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

We have a growing list of help videos and tutorials.

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
    • Clinicians
      • 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, locum GPs, nurses etc.
    • Staff
      • 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.
    • Editors
      • 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, nurse practitioners etc.
    • Switch roles
      • Practice can switch people between different roles e.g. upgrade a Clinician to an Editor so they can crowdsource their knowledge of services

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.

Button - comment on this page

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.

Button - leave a personal note
Button - report service issue to practice

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.


Button - Request page update

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.

This is to help GP practices to start populating their Spip

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.

Spip | What are the Practice, Staff, Clinician and Editor roles in Spip?
Spip | Who can see the information within Spip and Cudos?

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)

Spip | What is Cudos?

To begin Spip's QuickStart, in Spip navigate to The practice >> Getting here >> The practice.

Individual or role is one of the four different types of Cudos item.

Single service or premises is one of the four different types of Cudos item.

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.

Organisation is one of the four different types of Cudos item.

It is being designed so that a Clinician can use Spip from a smartphone using wifi or data (3G or 4G), and planning for a full smartphone offline version in 2016.

Using Spip on a smartphone as Practice will be slightly limited to the fact that, as with many smartphones, it's not currently possible to select a document for upload, since the smartphone may not have a document storage facility.

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.

  • 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.

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.

This all depends on what role the Practice has assigned you.

RoleSpipCudosGroup’s CudosExplanation
PracticeOwn & EditOwn & EditViewA 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.
EditorEditEditViewSame as Clinician; can also add and delete contacts in Cudos as well as in Spip.
StaffViewViewViewSame as Clinician; can also view Cudos.
ClinicianViewHiddenHiddenCan view all content in Spip that has been authorised for viewing by Practice or Editor. Can not directly view Cudos.
networkDummyHiddenEditComing April 2016! 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.

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.
SPIP taxonomy

Each of the four different types of contact are defined in Cudos itself, but this may help too.

  • 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.

Internal department, service or policy

  • 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.

Single service or premises

  • Like a local pharmacy, physiotherapist or dentist. You’ll only add a few of these.

Individual or role

  • Like you, any GP in your practice, and hospital doctor - whether by their name or by their role.

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.

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.

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