Ten common questions about GP locum pensions

19th May 2023 by NASGP

Ten common questions about GP locum pensions

All GP locums enrolled in the NHS Pension scheme need to file Form A and Form B paperwork to pay into their pensions.

Locum Form A

GPs file Form A at the same time that they invoice a practice for work. The form, produced by NHS Business Services Authority (NHS BSA), includes information about the locum and the practice.

Locum Form B

After completing a month’s work and the related paperwork, you then file Form B. This form specifies exactly how much you need to pay for that month’s pension contribution, and it works on a calendar month basis.

How do I create a Locum Form A on LocumDeck?

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How does LocumDeck’s ‘Instant Book’ booking system work?

We designed LocumDeck for you to set your own sessions and show availability to practices you choose to link with so they can book you directly. You don’t have to wait for requests from practices – you can plan ahead, set your terms, then the work you want finds you. We call it Instant Book.

You can also see practices’ requests for cover.

 

How LocumDeck’s Instant Book works

When you set up ‘Instant Book’ in LocumDeck:

  • You authorise which practices are allowed to see your real-time availability.
  • For each practice you can specify in great detail the type of work you are prepared to carry out with them, at what times and at what rates.
  • You pro-actively plan and add your ‘Availability’ to your calendar, so you can make considered decisions about your working patterns rather than having to make rushed decisions reactively in response to enquiries.
  • Each of your authorised practices only ‘sees’ the sessions that you allow them to that fit within your ‘Available’ slots. 
  • Practices can see your credentials and your full term and conditions alongside your session availability to inform their booking decision.
  • You are notified by text and email confirmation when you receive an ‘Instant Book’ booking on LocumDeck.

LocumDeck’s setup guides have a step-by-step introduction to the feature, called ‘Get booked by practices.

Join our free trial today.

GP locum membership fees

In our three-month free trial or within one of our funded areas (funded areas) Instant Book is completely free.

After that:

  • Membership (£12/month) – £15 per session.
  • Membership Plus (£24/month) or Chambers (£31/month) – £11 per session for 20 sessions, then free.

All membership and booking fees are tax-deductible.

See NASGP’s LocumDeck booking fees here. 

How do GPs create sessions in LocumDeck?

We’ve made big improvements to the way you create sessions:

  • Previously sessions were created and organised from the starting point of whether they were being charged by the session or by the hour. You can now create Morning, Afternoon, Evening and Day sessions. Your session lists are now grouped by these new types and organised in order of start time.
  • We’ve added options for you not to show visit and on call status information. Members told us that because on call and visit status is not relevant to the work setting e.g. remote working, they wanted to have an option not to show on call and visit status.
  • You can set a session to be used in all of your practices. Some members had standard session types that they wanted to use in all practices they work in. Previously there would be a few clicks to set this up in each practice record. Now you can set your favourite session(s) to be auto-selected for all practices. You can opt out of doing the session in a particular practice record.

How will your existing sessions change?

Your sessions will be allocated to the new types based on their start times:

  • Sessions that start before 1pm and end before 2pm will be Morning sessions.
  • Sessions that start before 1pm and end after 2pm will be All day sessions.
  • Sessions that start after 1pm and before 5pm will be Afternoon sessions.
  • Sessions that start after 5pm will be Evening sessions.

All other information about your sessions e.g. timings, fees, on call and visit status will be the same.

On LocumDeck, are GPs’ contact details in their profiles?

Sort of! 

To maintain the integrity and convenience of LocumDeck’s ‘Instant Book’ facility, GP contact details are not routinely included on the GP’s profiles. If GP locums and practices could just use the platform as a direct messaging site, users might start to treat LocumDeck as an address book and GP locums might neglect to keep their availability up to date. We have heard of this happening with other platforms where it created a nightmare of misunderstandings and lack of clarity over the status of bookings – everything we want to avoid.

But once practice makes a booking, a confirmation email is sent and this contains the GP’s email for queries about a booking.

Some GPs may also choose to add their details to the ‘Notes’ section of their profiles.

Do you have any reviews from practice managers who use LocumDeck?

Yes, we do. Practice managers who use LocumDeck say:

– “I absolutely love the facility for receiving invoices and signing pension forms electronically. You are notified the moment a GP locum adds availability, which is just fantastic. I have no hesitation in recommending LocumDeck – it has already eased my workload.” Sue, Portsmouth

-“I started using LocumDeck as one of our locums used it. It was easy to see her availability and when bookings are made I get confirmation and can view them on the calendar too. When invoices are sent, I can see it on the site and digitally sign the pension form.” Debbie, St Ives

-“You can see GPs’ availability, their documents are already loaded, and there are also no expensive agency fees – just the GP’s actual payment. It’s quick and hassle-free.” Lesley, York

Practice managers who already use LocumDeck say it saves them time and makes booking locums much much easier.

LocumDeck is free for practice managers, booking managers, partners and practice staff. Sign up today.

How can practice managers tell GP locums that their practice needs cover?

Use ‘Request availability’ to add your required dates, times and details of the cover you need. To access ‘Request availability’, click on any date in your calendar or navigate to ‘Request availability’ in the menu bar on LocumDeck.

After you’ve built a list of your requirements and clicked SEND AVAILABILITY REQUEST:

  • Email notifications are sent out to locums in a 45 min travel radius of your practice.
  • Your Availability request details are added to their calendars.
  • You get a record of your availability request in your calendar (shown in orange)

You will be notified by email when a locum responds and adds availability for your practice to book.

How do practices pay a GP locum for a session on LocumDeck?

In all cases, when the practice goes into LocumDeck >> Invoices they can see all the invoices. When they click on the invoice number they can view the invoice (which in the top right hand corner shows the GP locums bank details) and if they click on the associated drop down arrow then they have the option to e-sign any applicable locum A forms, which saves the practice and the GP locum lots of time, (or they can download it) and mark the invoice as payment sent.

Practices will receive invoices as follows.

Most GP locums

Non-Chamber members generate their own invoices and email these, along with their locum A form (if applicable) direct to the practice.

Non-Chamber members set their own payment terms.

Chamber members

For those GP locums who are members of an NASGP Locum Chambers (and these members can be identified as next to their name in LocumDeck will be shown their Chamber logo), then on the 4th of every month the practice will be notified that invoices are now available in LocumDeck to be viewed and paid. Within the notification email there is a link which when they click on takes them to LocumDeck.

For Chamber members then the payment terms are 14 days from the invoice date.

Do you have any reviews from GPs who use LocumDeck?

Yes we do!

Visit our GP Testimonials page for more reviews.

GPs who use LocumDeck say:

  • LocumDeck is self-explanatory and having never made/sent an invoice before it’s made my life a lot easier, and made me feel reassured I hadn’t forgotten anything important. I’ve recommended it to my colleague/friend who is also starting out as a GP locum.” – Dr Christine Vickery
  • “I started working as a locum GP in January this year and NASGP has been invaluable in helping to co-ordinate my bookings and organise all the administrative aspects of sessional work which can be complex and time consuming. Their client support is outstanding and they have always resolved any queries promptly and personally. They care about the service they provide and I would not hesitate to recommend them to any sessional GPs who want to minimise time spent on administration and focus on providing patients with high quality care.” – Dr Susannah Denny
  • I rely on the NASGP for advice and support. I use LocumDeck for all my locum admin -my profile, certificates, Ts and Cs, practice contacts, booking and invoicing sessions, pension A and B forms, recording mileage and other expenses and monthly earnings. Having been a locum in the past without LocumDeck, I realise how much easier LocumDeck makes my life, especially as I don’t enjoy admin. It automates much of the admin for me. I can see at a glance how many bookings I have and where the gaps are. I have some practices who instant book me – booking directly into free sessions I have added. I have income/expenditure spreadsheets to share with my accountant. I would highly recommend it to others.” – Dr Paul Riley
  • “NASGP’s LocumDeck makes my running things as a self-employed GP almost effortless – I don’t think I would want to work without it. Invoicing is streamlined and the website is very user-friendly. After a sometimes busy week at work the last thing you want is to spend hours on business admin -–LocumDeck is a real timesaver.” – Dr James O’Mahony
  • You have a brilliant team. I find it so convenient to ask for help and it’s always tailored to my needs.” – Dr Aamina Khan
  • I have found LocumDeck to be the most helpful and invaluable resource for keeping bookings and accounts. I want to thank you for the wonderful service you provide. Many thanks once again for all the NASGP provides, and particularly for use of the excellent resource LocumDeck has proved to be – something I have recommended to many colleagues who have taken a step to locum work.” – Dr Ruth Snowball
  • Richard and Ali’s help was a godsend. They introduced me to locum work in a friendly and kind manner, provided valuable support and excellent service through the ever-improving LocumDeck and NASGP website… I was able to work in different GP practices with different staff and patient demographics, massively increasing my clinical experience, resilience and communication skills. It also helped me funnelling down all the job offers I received through my locum work until I recently agreed for a salaried position in a GP practice that I love working at.” – Dr Nazar Ahmed
  • Love LocumDeck. Invoice sent for this month. Super quick and easy once set-up. Form all calculated – lovely!” – Dr Kate Little
  • “I have found LocumDeck really straightforward to use and immensely helpful; in particular invoicing and the pension forms A and B has cut down my admin time dramatically, which I’m pleased about. The support from NASGP’s membership support manager is excellent, friendly and knowledgeable.” – Dr Chloe Evans

Visit our GP Testimonials page for more reviews.

Join our three-month free trial for LocumDeck today.

Who can see my GP locum profile on LocumDeck?

Practices you add on LocumDeck will be able to see your profile.

If you’re applying to join NASGP Locum Chambers then the Membership Support Manager will also be able to view your profile and help you troubleshoot any issues.

 

How do I set up my profile on LocumDeck?

In ‘Settings’ you can create a really smart-looking profile which you can share with practices.

How do I create Locum Forms A and B?

All GP locums enrolled in the NHS Pension scheme need to file Form A and Form B paperwork to pay into their pensions.

What are Locum Forms A and B?

Locum Form A
GPs file Form A at the same time that they invoice a practice for work. The form, produced by NHS Business Services Authority (NHS BSA), includes information about the locum and the practice.

Locum Form B
After completing a month’s work and the related paperwork, you then file Form B. This form specifies exactly how much you need to pay for that month’s pension contribution, and it works on a calendar month basis.

Submit your Locum A and B forms to PCSE via its online portal or by post.

Locum Form A

You’ll need to send a completed Form A with your invoice to every practice that you’ve chosen to pension your work in that month. In any one month, you need to pension either all the work in a practice, or none of it. You can’t just pension some of it.

 

Each Form A must include your unique identifying number, which is based on your SD number and the month and year in which you receive the corresponding invoices payment for the Form A. There are currently only four spaces to include each period of work within a month, and any extra periods will need to be added to an additional supplementary form.

LocumDeck automatically generates paperless Form As for all applicable sessions, including generating a professional invoice, e-signatures, storing a copy, adding the data to your bookkeeping area and passing it all to your Form B form instantaneously. You and your practice managers will never need to post, print, scan, upload or download a Form A ever again.

Locum Form B

To be ready to generate Form B, you will first have completed your Invoice & pension info in Settings and have sent invoices with Form As and marked them as paid.

Then:

  • Go to Invoices >> Locum Form B
  • Select the month to see invoices and Form As that have been marked as paid that month.
  • All pensionable invoices that were paid in that month will be displayed.
  • Tick the checkboxes next to each invoice to add their payments to the Form B.
  • Choose between Generate Form B or Generate e-signed Form A & B

How to generate Form B

If your Form As have been e-signed by the practices, then this option will not only generate your Form B, but also process all practice e-signed Locum Form As by:

    • Adding your e-signature.
    • Merging all e-signed Form As into a single file for easier sending.
    • Alerting you if there are any straggler Form As that have not been e-signed by the practice – their information will be added to the Form B but you’ll need  to sign them by hand.

Your completed Form B includes two key pieces of information that you need to submit your pension payments and paperwork:

  1. The amount of  total pension contribution you need to pay
  2. Unique Payment Reference (UPR) – a code unique to you which contains your pension scheme number and the month of last worked – that you must use as your bank payment reference so the pension administrators can match your payment to your pension record.

Your Form B and any associated e-signed Form As will be stored in your Locum Form B Tracker. You can:

  • Reverse a Form B up to two weeks after it is generated to amend any errors – click grey cross
  • Add notes on any PCSE reference numbers or payment methods

Following changes to the guidance on how to complete Form B and how to use UPR, from 1 Oct 2022, the name of the new form B in ‘Your Locum Form B Tracker’ will reference the month of the last date of work on the form to be consistent with the UPR on your Form B.

How do GPs invoice for sessional work on LocumDeck?

A locum session becomes ‘ready for invoicing’ once it is underway – it then appears as pale blue in your calendar.

  1. Invoice session by clicking the session on your calendar and using the menu (blue circle with three white dots) or via Invoices >> Create invoice. On Create invoice, the “Select practice” dropdown will show you all your practices that need to be invoiced.
  2. Select a practice to see a list of sessions that are ready for invoicing.
  3. When you tick the sessions you want to invoice, you will see the invoice preview, complete with automatic pension calculations, appear on the right hand side.
  4. Either: Hit SEND and the invoice and any attached Locum Form A will be emailed to the practice and become viewable online in their LocumDeck. Or: Hit SAVE and EXIT to save the invoice (and any Locum Form A) to ‘All invoices’ without sharing with the practice.

In both cases, your invoice details and any pension contribution are automatically saved in Bookkeeper.

Can I invoice on LocumDeck for sessional GP work booked off LocumDeck?

Yes, you can  invoice for work on LocumDeck for work booked outside of LocumDeck.

  1. Add the practice to your LocumDeck address book (it’s called “My practices”).
  2. Add your sessions at that practice into your LocumDeck calendar.
  3. After you work your session, create and send an invoice in the usual way. (If you claim NHS pension on this session, LocumDeck will also generate a Locum Form A and update your Bookkeeper data).

If you have already invoiced a practice outside of LocumDeck, but want to record it within Bookkeeper, then instead of pressing the SEND button, leave the sessions as “ready for invoice” on the calendar. Bookkeeper will pick up the fee and include it in your earnings.

When should I send invoices for locum work?

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.

Can I print my invoice?

Yes – from ‘All invoices’, click VIEW to access a downloadable PDF file of the invoice. Practices can also download or print invoices from their LocumDeck account by clicking on the invoice number/reference.

More advice for starting out with GP locum accounts

"I think the Spip and Cudos tool both have a very positive future and fulfil a real need."

Dr Amy Kerstein, GP

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