Setting up

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

See Sara’s quick introductory video

Sara and Richard talk Booking defaults

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

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

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.

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
  • 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.

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.

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.

Adding your own bookings

Sara runs through adding your own bookings

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

See our video on how to confirm your own bookings.

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.

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.

Instant Book

  • 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Cancelling a booking

In 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.

  • Click on the session in your calendar.
  • Then click ‘Edit or cancel booking’
  • You will be taken to 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.

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

See a video guide on how to add mileage.

(We’re working on an app to make this easier but we need to raise funds first so please bear with us.)

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

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.

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.

No problem - after you made your invoice in Create invoice and Locum A, click Printable invoice; 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.

No problem. You can generate another B form for the month. It will be called [Month][Year] Supplementary in Your Locum B Forms archive.

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.

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.

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.

Login to your LocumDeck on your chosen device
Go to your LocumDeck Calendar and click on Display on your other calendars  (in blue, 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.

Money basically. We plan a mobile device site as soon as funds allow, but in this first phase, LocumDeck has been built for desktop. It's a very complex site, capturing lots of inputs from you and we thought desktop was the most natural starting point. So whilst LocumDeck is 'mobile-friendly', it is so complex that it needs a totally new mobile version to be built to be fully functional. Bit of a drag, we know, but please stick with it and get your colleagues and practice using LocumDeck - the more members, the more funds available to get started on the mobile version.

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


  • 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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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 is informed that you’re trying to connect 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 Getting your calendar to sync on other 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.

Availability nudges and Activation requests

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!

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.

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’.

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.

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.


Spip | Any examples of how Spip can help clinicians?

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.

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Spip | Who can see the information within Spip and Cudos?

[mp_row][mp_span col="12"]This all depends on what role the Practice has assigned you.[/mp_span][/mp_row][mp_row][mp_span col="12"][mp_table mp_style_classes="motopress-table-style-silver motopress-table-first-col-left"]Role,Spip,Cudos,Group's Cudos,ExplanationPractice,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,Coming 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.[/mp_table][/mp_span][/mp_row]

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Spip | How much does a Spip cost?

[mp_row][mp_span col="12"]

  • 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.
[/mp_span][/mp_row][mp_row][mp_span col="12"][mp_code mp_custom_style="mpce-prvt-5368-57399bf0cacd5"]
  • 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.

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Spip | Your Spip and the CQC

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.

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Spip | How was it 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.

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Spip | 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
    • 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'.

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Spip | How does a GP invite a practice to set up a Spip?

Spip_-_My_AccountClick on the Choose Practice Pack logo (you'll need to sign in if you've not already done so) and select Invite new GP practice.You can invite as many practices to set up a Spip as you like.

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Spip | 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
    • Clinicians
      • Practice can invite or deactivate CliniciansThe 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

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Spip | Who owns the 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.

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Spip | Will any 3rd parties be able to see our 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.

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Spip toolkit | Checklist for home visits

[mp_row][mp_span col="12"]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.[ddownload id="1962"][links category_name="Spip Toolkit | Checklist for home visits"][/mp_span][/mp_row]

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Spip toolkit | Dictate referral

These allow clinicians to make a physical record of every consultation that needs referral, reducing the likelihood of a referral going missing.[ddownload id="1963"]

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Spip toolkit | 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.[ddownload id="6692"][links category_name="NASGP Practice Pack | Pre-arrival checklist"]  

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Spip toolkit | Restock room equipment

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.[ddownload id="1964"][links category_name="Spip toolkit | Restock room equipment"]  

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Practeus | Compatibility and security

It's 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.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.

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Spip | What is an ‘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.

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Spip | Can’t they 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!".

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Spip | Is it mobile-friendly?

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.

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Spip | Messaging, comments and notes

[mp_row][mp_span col="12"][mp_text]

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.[/mp_text][/mp_span][/mp_row][mp_row][mp_span col="6"][mp_image id="5716" size="full" link_type="custom_url" link="#" target="false" caption="false" align="left"][/mp_span][mp_span col="6"][mp_text]

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.[/mp_text][/mp_span][/mp_row][mp_row][mp_span col="6"][mp_text]

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.[/mp_text][/mp_span][mp_span col="6"][mp_image id="5719" size="full" link_type="custom_url" link="#" target="false" align="left"][/mp_span][/mp_row][mp_row][mp_span col="6"][mp_image id="5718" size="full" link_type="custom_url" link="#" target="false" align="left"][/mp_span][mp_span col="6"][mp_text]

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. [/mp_text][/mp_span][/mp_row][mp_row][mp_span col="6"][mp_text]

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. [/mp_text][/mp_span][mp_span col="6"][mp_image id="5720" size="full" link_type="custom_url" link="#" target="false" align="left"][/mp_span][/mp_row][mp_row][mp_span col="6"][mp_image id="5722" size="full" link_type="custom_url" link="#" target="false" caption="false" align="left"][/mp_span][mp_span col="6"][mp_text]

Send internal message

Allows the user to send an internal message to any other user of the practice that they're currently signed in to.Great for when you don't have a colleague's email.[/mp_text][/mp_span][/mp_row]

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Spip | We’ve 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.

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Spip | What is Spip?

Spip is NASGP's Standardised Practice Induction Pack. 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.

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