Published: 24th August 2022
Start Dates, Collection Arrangements
As announced earlier this year, Global Services Group (GSG) is to become the new laboratory logistics provider for primary care services in Bexley, Greenwich, Lewisham, Bromley, Southwark and Lambeth. This includes sample collection and consumables ordering/delivery.
The new service will replace the existing City Sprint and King’s College Hospital (KCH) services on a phased basis, with handover to be completed by 30 October 2022. Start dates and collection arrangements will vary depending on where the practice is located, and which services are used today. Please see below for specific details.
Practices in Bexley, Greenwich and Lewisham
The new GSG collection service will start for all practices on 5 September 2022. City Sprint will continue to deliver consumables until 23 October 2022, with GSG picking up this service from Monday 24 October.
Practices in Bromley
The new GSG service will replace the King’s College Hospital service on 1 November 2022. City Sprint will continue to deliver consumables until 23 October 2022, with GSG picking up this service from Monday 24 October.
Please note that the Bromley GP Alliance logistics service will continue to operate for the small number of Bromley-based practices which use this service as an alternative to the King’s College Hospital service.
Practices in Southwark and Lambeth and elsewhere in South East London
The new GSG collection service will start for all practices on 5 September 2022*. City Sprint will continue to deliver consumables until 23 October 2022, with GSG picking up this service from Monday 24 October.
*Please note that samples for some GPs practices in Southwark and Lambeth and a small number of others are also sent to King’s College Hospital, which is covered by a different service (KCH’s own logistics service). For the time being, these practices will continue to receive the KCH service as well as the new GSG service to replace City Sprint (which transports samples to laboratories based at Guy’s and St Thomas’). The KCH service will transfer over to GSG on 1 November, meaning that these practices will have only one logistics provider in future; however, please note that samples will still need to be kept separate. They are:
- Aylesbury Partnership SE17 2XE
- Brixton Hill Group Practice SW2 1AE
- Brockwell Park Surgery SE24 9AE
- Clapham Family Practice SW4 7DB
- Dun Cow Surgery SE1 5LU
- Hetherington Group Practice SW4 7NU
- Queen’s Road Partnership (387 site only) SE14 5HD
- Jenner Health Centre SE23 1HU
- Minet Surgery (Minet Green only) SW9 6AF
- Palace Road Surgery SW2 3DY
- Pavilion Medical Centre SW9 8DJ
- Stockwell Group Practice SW9 9TJ
- Streatham Place Surgery SW2 4QY
- Upper Norwood Group Practice SE19 2NT
- Vassal Road Medical Centre SW9 6NA
What your practice needs to do:
GSG will be undertaking dry runs and installing a new QR code in all practices from Tuesday 30to Friday 2 September*, with the majority of visits taking place on the Tuesday. This simply involves placing a sticker near to where samples will be collected.
Please ensure that your practice manager and reception team are aware of this visit so that, upon the driver’s arrival, they can indicate where the QR sticker should be placed. This will probably be close to where the QR code for the current City Sprint service is located, e.g. a wall or reception desk. Please do not remove the City Sprint QR code as this will still be needed – your GSG driver will remove it when they assume responsibility for all services provided to your practice.
*Please note that City Sprint will continue to collect samples and deliver consumables during this week, and nothing will change to your collection service before 5 September 2022.
Readiness for transfer
Despite the short timeframe before service transition, please be assured that the switch has been designed to ensure no operational changes for the majority of practices. There will be minimal changes for a total of four practices, which will involve a slightly later collection time of between 10 and 20 minutes.
The practices affected are:
|Practice||Present collection window||New collection window||Change*|
|Triangle Surgery Group Practice||15:10 – 15:15||15:30 – 15:35||+20 mins|
|Welling Medical Practice||13:30 – 13:40||13:45 – 13:50 (M-T) 13:50 – 13:55 (F)||+10 mins (M-T)|
+15 mins (F)
|Amersham Vale Training Practice||14:55 – 15:05||15:10 – 15:15||+10 mins|
|Oakview Family Practice||10:55 – 11:05||11:15 – 11:20||+15 mins|
All four practices will receive a call from the team at Viapath before the service transfers, and a full schedule of collection times for all practices will be available on the dedicated microsite at https://sel.synlab.co.uk/logistics/ by 31 August.
Here are some other things you might like to know in readiness for the transfer:
- Practices needing to raise or escalate any problems should always contact the dedicated customer services team on 0204 513 7300 or email [email protected] This ensures your query is registered, tracked and dealt with expediently. Opening times are shown below.
- GSG’s temperature-controlled vehicles will protect sample stability during transit from day one, because samples won’t be exposed to extreme temperatures which can cause hypo- or hyperkalaemia.
- A fleet of dedicated vans and drivers will work only on our contract. GSG has also built in contingency arrangements, whereby additional drivers can step in at short notice to respond to ad hoc need.
- We have retained City Sprint’s services until 31 October 2022 to provide contingency should we need it in the unlikely event of any problems, e.g. missed collections.
- GSG’s tracking system will allow Viapath to track vans and samples in real-time, meaning that customer services can respond more quickly and effectively to GP queries about their collections.
- Viapath will have access to an online portal which will track performance and ensure route optimisation, so improvements can be made to the service where needed.
About your new logistics service provider
GSG is a tried and tested logistics expert with an excellent performance record, and they understand pathology logistics. GSG already fulfils nine routes across Bexley, Greenwich and Lewisham, and has been SYNLAB’s logistics provider within the NHS partnership in Essex, Pathology First, for ten years.
New consumables portal
Because the consumables portal is linked to the logistics provider, a new portal will be implemented from 24 October 2022. Your practice will need to create a new login to use this, and we will provide more information in the next two weeks about what you need to do.
Here to help you
We will do everything we can to ensure that you remain updated and have the support and information you need. This will include telephone calls to your practices, and information communicated via the GP Bulletin, the dedicated microsite, or emailed communications such as this.
Please look out for updates via email and in the GP Bulletins, and please share them with your colleagues to ensure everyone in your practice is fully prepared.
If you have any queries, please contact Viapath Pathology Support Services on 0204 513 7300 or by emailing [email protected]. Opening times are 08:00 to 20:00 Monday to Friday, with an email-only service available from 09:00 to 17:00 on Saturday and Sunday