Frequently Answered Questions

We have compiled some FAQs below. We ask you to review these as they should answer your questions about the logistics service.

GSG (Global Services Group) will take over pathology logistics services from City Sprint and the King’s College Hospital (KCH) service. This includes the collection of pathology samples and delivery of pathology consumables, such as blood tubes and printer paper.

Start dates and collection arrangements will vary depending on where the practice is located, and which services are used today. Please see below for details by borough.

The first day of collections by GSG will depend on where the practice is located and the arrangements in place today. See below for specific information:

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, Lambeth and other users in nearby 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, Lambeth and a few others from elsewhere in south East London which fall within our pathology network are also sent to King’s College Hospital, which is covered by a different service (KCH’s own logistics service). 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
• 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
• Queen’s Road Partnership (387 site only) SE14 5HD
• Upper Norwood Group Practice SE19 2NT
• Vassal Road Medical Centre SW9 6NA

Collection times will stay the same for nearly all GP practices. Four practices will receive slightly later collection times of between 10 and 20 minutes and these practices are being notified individually. They are:

PracticePresent collection windowNew collection windowChange*
Triangle Surgery Group Practice15:10 – 15:1515:30 – 15:35+20 mins
Welling Medical Practice13:30 – 13:4013:45 – 13:50 (M-T)
13:50 – 13:55 (F)
+10 mins (M-T)
+15 mins (F)
Amersham Vale Training Practice14:55 – 15:0515:10 – 15:15+10 mins
Oakview Family Practice10:55 – 11:0511:15 – 11:20+15 mins

Collection times for all other practices remain unchanged. A full schedule of collection times for all practices will be available from 31 August on the collection page of this site.

All collection times will be posted onto the dedicated logistics collection page here from 31 August

Any queries or concerns should always be raised with Synnovis Pathology Support Services. This enables Synnovis to track and monitor queries and ensure that queries are responded to quickly and effectively.

Synnovis Pathology Support Services can be contacted by calling 0204 513 7300 or 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.

If you would like to amend your current collections, e.g. add an additional collection or remove a collection, please contact the Customer Services team at [email protected].

Your request will be reviewed by the ICS and the Pathology Business Unit. Approved amendments will be accommodated as far as possible, and removals will typically be actioned within 48 hours.

  • The new company is GSG, drivers will wear a GSG uniform, and vans will display the GSG logo
  • GSG will use temperature-controlled vans to minimise the risk of sample instability during transit
  • Instead of putting practice samples into a large bag, drivers will use a UN3373-compliant box, which is approved for transporting category B biological substances
  • GSG drivers are dedicated to our service only, and cannot be used for any other customers or services
  • Customer services will be able to track vans on a dedicated portal, meaning that any problems can be detected quickly, and queries from GP practices regarding collection times can be investigated using real-time data
  • A new consumables portal will be introduced on 24 October 2022, and GP practices will need to start using that instead. More information will follow
The same:
  • Collection times will stay the same for nearly all GP practices. The collection times for four practices will change by between 10 and 20 minutes and all will be notified individually
  • Drivers will scan a code on collection as they do now with City Sprint – the City Sprint barcode will be replaced with a GSG QR code
  • Online ordering of tests by GP Practices remains the same as it is today
  • Any queries or concerns should be telephoned through to the dedicated customer services team on 0204 513 7300 or [email protected]
  • If clinics are running late, please let the customer services team know as soon as possible so they can arrange an ad hoc collection

Other than a change of driver and vehicle, practices should expect to notice very little difference. There will be no change to the collection times of all but four practices on day one. The four practices affected will be notified by email and by phone to confirm arrangements. Collection times for all practices will be available on the dedicated microsite prior to service transfer.

GP practices will also need to use a new online portal to order consumables from 24 October. More information about this will be shared in the next two weeks.

Yes, the Synnovis bags are still to be used by practices. Sample bags will then be collected by the driver and placed in a UN3373 compliant collection box, which is approved for transporting category B biological substances. In addition, samples will be transported in temperature-controlled vehicles to ensure sample stability.

As reported in the GP bulletin on 4 August, insulated bags have been delivered to GP practices in Bexley to assist with the stabilisation of samples in the hot weather.

Synnovis sample bags should be placed into these insulated bags ready for collection by the courier.

The insulated bags are for use until the GSG service commences (from 5 September for most GP services) when temperature-controlled vehicles will be used for all collections to ensure sample stability during transit.

GSG will be undertaking dry runs and installing a new QR code in all practices from Tuesday 30 August to 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 may 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. Dates and times when you can expect a visit from GSG are shown below.

*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.

Dry runs are being conducted by GSG on the routes which mirror those used by the current courier service. One of GSG’s benefits is their use of online GPS route monitoring. This will provide live traffic information, indicating any possible delays to collections or issues with routes. GSG also has a fleet of vehicles and drivers dedicated to this particular service, whereby additional resources can be called upon in the event of traffic problems or other issues.

All drivers will use special temperature-controlled vans to ensure sample stability whilst in transit. This means that samples won’t be exposed to extreme temperatures which can cause hypo- or hyperkalaemia. Routes have been planned in accordance with the expected levels of traffic on any given day.

Synnovis will be able to monitor vans and samples via an online portal. Once a courier has attended the practice and scanned in the practice’s QR code and the barcodes on sample bags, this will update the portal. This allows Synnovis to track vans and samples in real-time, meaning that customer services can respond more quickly and effectively to GP queries about their collections. Synnovis will also be able to monitor performance and ensure route optimisation, so that improvements can be made to the service where needed.

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.

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