Finding GP locums
The booking feature of LocumDeck is called Instant Book. The first steps to finding and booking GPs are:
- Ensure you have Activated LocumDeck’s Instant Book feature in LocumDeck >> Settings
- Encourage locum colleagues to come on board LocumDeck and activate Instant Book sessions for your practice so you can start booking them.
GP locums are then notified, and can link with your practice and activate Instant Book sessions before their availability will become visible to you.
The ultimate vision of Instant Book is that, when enough practices and locums realise how powerful it is, finding GP locum cover will simply be a matter of going to your LocumDeck calendar, selecting the cover you need from all of the GPs who have proactively activated Instant Book sessions for your practice, and making a booking - instantly. The whole process taking seconds to minutes.
LocumDeck’s Instant Book feature is new and momentum needs to build by encouraging locums and other practices to join.
Once your practice is added to LocumDeck’s list of practices, you become visible to GP locums on LocumDeck.
To get on the list
- Go to LocumDeck >> Settings
- Complete the necessary practice information.
- At the bottom of the page, activate LocumDeck’s Instant Book feature.
- Click Update
- This adds you to LocumDeck’s list of practices
You are now visible on LocumDeck, and GPs within 45 minute radius are also notified by email that you are onboard.
- After you signed up and completed your LocumDeck >> Settings, all GP locums within 45 minute travel radius were automatically notified by email that your practice is onboard.
- You can also invite your locum colleagues who aren’t yet on LocumDeck:
- Go to Invite locums in your LocumDeck menu.
- Create a list of your GP locum colleagues and ‘Invite all’ sends them email invites.
Clicking on the GP’s name anywhere you see it in LocumDeck will open their profile. From there, you can see the GP’s GMC number. Within Credentials, GP locums can upload important documents ready for you to review before making your booking decision.
Please note that, as clearly stated in LocumDeck’s Terms and conditions, the practice is responsible for checking the credentials and suitability of the GP before engaging them. LocumDeck is an automated platform that facilitates your direct engagement with GP locums in the hope that this will help you build sustainable relationships with local, flexible GPs. As such, NASGP cannot and does not carry out any checks of the GP locums who use LocumDeck.
You can use Request availability to add your required dates and times. This encourages local GP locums to set your practice up for Instant Book and add their availability to their calendars, allowing you to then see what GPs are available and precise details of what cover they are able to offer you on your required dates. You are notified by email if a locum has been able to add any committed availability for your practice. You can then browse LocumDeck and choose if any are suitable for booking. The simplest way to book the locum is via Instant Book. But sometimes GP locums may approach you by other routes to set up a booking.
The ultimate aim is that one day you will never have to Request availability, as GP locums pro-actively add their availability and all you have to do is search and book.
You are not committed to making any booking after you’ve requested availability. The request acts as an indicator to local GP locums that there is demand on certain dates and nudges them to add availability and activate sessions for Instant Book for your practice.
So you are not inconveniencing anyone or misleading anyone if you later decide you no longer need a GP locum and you don’t need to take any action to reverse the availability request.
About Instant Book
GP locums have to specifically activate certain sessions for Instant Book in your practice. The concept of GPs agreeing in advance to committing themselves to availability is new. There may be some barriers to GPs opening this up that you can help them with:
- Reassurance - the GP defines the terms of the sessions that they make available to you for Instant Book so you can reassure the GP locum that they will only be booked for work that they have defined, pre-agreed to and therefore feel competent to carry out in your practice.
- Cost - use of LocumDeck and Instant Book is completely free to practices. But locums are charged a small fee for Instant Book sessions to cover the costs of maintaining LocumDeck. We charge the locum this fee because NASGP is a membership organisation supporting locums and LocumDeck is a locum-led initiative to help GP locums protect their safe working standards, and we want to be transparent that they are our ‘customer’. The fee is a fraction of the charge made by agencies, but in times of soaring indemnity costs, some locums may be off by this. If you think that the reward of being able to Instant Book GP locum cover - literally one-click to a confirmed booking - is worth a small charge - tiny compared to an agency fee - then perhaps let your locum colleagues know that you don’t mind if they adjust their fee to reflect this cost.
There are two important things you need before being ready to Instant Book.
- Ensure you have Activated LocumDeck’s Instant Book feature in LocumDeck >> Settings.
- Encourage locum colleagues to come on board LocumDeck and activate Instant Book sessions for your practice to Instant Book them.
In under 9 minutes, get a reminder on how to set up Instant Book, see a live demo of an Instant Book from the practice and locum perspective and find out about the Search filters and date range search.
All bookings on LocumDeck, including those made via Instant Book, are direct engagements between the practice and GP locum. Therefore, if the practice needs to cancel a booking, they must contact the GP locum directly. Contact details for the GP locum will be on all confirmation bookings emails and invoices. GP locums may also occasionally choose to share their contact details in their LocumDeck profiles.
The GP locum’s own cancellation policy, specified in their individual Terms and Conditions will apply.
Once the GP locum has been informed of the cancellation, they can proceed with the cancellation process from their LocumDeck.
Once GP locums have linked with you on LocumDeck you will be able to see their ‘Committed availability’ and any booked sessions you have with them. You can click any of the calendar entries to see full details.
For easy reference, sessions of different status are colour-coded:
- Green for Confirmed sessions;
- Yellow for Confirmation request sessions the GP locum has offered you that are awaiting your confirmation.
- Red for ‘Committed Availability’ that the locum is offering for Instant Book
GP locums have to opt to link with you on LocumDeck by adding your practice to their personal address book before they are visible on your calendar. If your calendar is empty, it means that no GP locums have yet linked with your practice.
LocumDeck was only recently launched so if we want to get this service working to its full potential, we need to spread the word to get our colleagues onboard.
Top tip - if you see an empty calendar and you have branch surgeries, make sure you toggle between all your surgeries using the selector box - they will each have their separate calendar which will individually display the Committed availability and bookings.
GP locum bookings
LocumDeck is a flexible tool that facilitates your direct interaction with GP locums. It is not ‘just’ a booking platform or a job marketplace. It’s more of a complete locum management system, especially when you use it alongside Spip’s LocumPack. So you can use it to help manage bookings on several levels, depending on your preference and the locum you’re dealing with
- At its simplest, you get clear calendar and table summaries of past and upcoming bookings and invoices with all your locums.
- Smart, quick confirmation system if making bookings in the traditional way, giving you both an audit trail of work agreed.
- At its most sophisticated, there is Instant Book.
If you have an established network of locums and you all prefer to continue using the traditional reactive route of making bookings then LocumDeck is great at helping you keep a track of your sessions and invoices. Here’s how:
- Let your GPs know you’d like to use LocumDeck - you can use Invite locums - urge them to sign up as they’ll get a “really brilliant”, according to our members, suite of automated invoicing, pensioning and Bookkeeper tools as part of their NASGP membership fee - currently £11/month.
- The locums adds any work you agree with them, and if they use LocumDeck’s confirmation system, you will both get booking and invoicing emails and a live summary of bookings and invoices - for all your locums.
If you’re making bookings using the traditional route of contacting the locum directly, you may get yellow ‘Confirmation requested’ sessions appearing in your calendar along with emails to the practice manager and booking contact, asking you to “Please confirm these locum GP sessions”.
This means the locum has added these session details to their calendar and is asking you to review and confirm the booking.
If you want to confirm the sessions, you can do this either from the blue confirmation link within the “Please confirm these locum GP sessions” email.
Or online within LocumDeck
- Open the session details by clicking on the yellow session on your calendar
- Click the blue tick icon at the end of the session detail line. This will take you to your Confirm bookings page.
- Use the white tickbox next to select the relevant Booking
- Finally click the green Confirm button. The booking is now confirmed. Confirmation emails are sent to both practice and locum and your calendars are both updated.
If you don’t want to confirm the booking or need to make changes, then please contact the GP locum directly. One option is to do this by replying to the “Please confirm these locum GP sessions” email.
All bookings on LocumDeck, made by whatever route, are direct engagements between the practice and the GP locum. Therefore, if you need to cancel a booking, you must contact the GP locum directly. Contact details for the GP locum will be on all confirmation bookings emails and invoices. GP locums may also occasionally choose to share their contact details in their LocumDeck profiles.
The GP locum’s own cancellation policy, specified in their individual Terms and Conditions, will apply.
Once the GP locum has been informed of the cancellation, they can proceed with the cancellation from their LocumDeck.
No. LocumDeck is not an agency or formal booking platform. It is designed to facilitate direct engagement between GP locums and practices. The GP locum can therefore specify their own personalised terms and conditions, which are then easily accessible to practices on emails and within the GP locum's LocumDeck profile.
Bookings on LocumDeck are direct engagements between the practice and GP locum. Therefore invoices are sent by the GP locum directly to the practice. Payment is made directly by the practice to the GP locum as per the payment terms contained on their customised invoice.
When a GP locum generates an invoice, the practice manager and invoicing contact get an email notification with the details of the work being charged for within the email and, if the locum is pensioning the work, the form A will be attached as a PDF.
You also have within LocumDeck an Invoices area which helps you keep a track of all your invoicing and payment activity for all your locums.
- Go to LocumDeck >> Invoices.
- In the Status column click on the green tick to mark an invoice as ‘Payment sent’
This automatically updates the GPs invoice record so they know to look out for your payment.
Once they receive payment, they can mark the invoice as ‘Payment received’