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Pathology contract with Synlab

Frank Davis made this Freedom of Information request to King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

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Dear King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust,

In January 2020, your organisation was one of five NHS organisations which announced that Synlab had been appointed as preferred bidder to provide pathology services, with an indicated contract start date in September 2020. Please answer the following questions:
1. Was your organisation aware that in February 2020, Synlab’s main shareholder, a private equity fund called Cinven, appointed a Swiss financial advisory firm called Lilja to advise on the sale or tock market flotation of Synlab.
2. Was your organisation aware that Synlab has issued bonds which mature in 2023, with an interest rate of 8.25%.
3. Was your organisation aware that this interest rate is much higher than the interest rate paid by most companies, and that financial analysts commentating on these bonds suggest that the high interest rate reflects a high level of risk that Synlab won’t be able to repay the debt.
4. Was your organisation aware that during March 2020, these bonds were trading at prices below 84% of their issue price, which financial analysts suggest was an indication that the market considered a high level of risk that these bonds would not be repaid by Synlab.
5. Has your organisation considered the possibility that Sonic Group of Australia, the parent company of TDL, who are the private partner in HSL, the other major private player in the NHS outsourced pathology market, may acquire Synlab and merge Synlab’s UK business with HSL.
6. Will Synlab be required to make investments of more than £10 million in the pathology service in order to fulfil their contractual obligations.
7. What guarantees are in place that will require Synlab to make such investments.
8. What sanctions do the contracting NHS organisations have in the event that Synlab refuse or are unable to make the required investments.
9. What rights would the contracting NHS organisations have in the event that Sonic Group or TDL or HSL acquire Synlab. Is there for example a change of control clause which would allow the contract to be withdrawn, and retendered or brought back in house.

Yours faithfully,

Frank Davis

FOI (KING'S COLLEGE HOSPITAL NHS FOUNDATION TRUST), King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Mr Davis,

 

Further to your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the
Act) dated 10^th May 2020. Your request has been assigned the reference
number in the subject line of this email.   I am writing to apologise for
the expected delay in responding. We normally aim to respond to all
requests within 20 working days but are currently experiencing significant
delays getting information.  The Trust is currently in Major Incident
Mode.  This means staff who normally supply  information are either being
diverted to frontline patient care during the current COVID-19 outbreak or
otherwise being diverted. 

 

In the light of this situation, if your request is not urgent, it would be
very helpful  indeed if you could advise me that you are content to
withdraw your request for now and resubmit it at a future date (in 4-6
months when the current major incident is hopefully improving). Your help
in this would be much appreciated.  Please just reply to this email and
state that you are able to withdraw the request until later.  However, if
you are unable to withdraw it, we will of course still aim to get your
response to you as soon as possible but given the above there are likely
to be significant delays, for which we apologise.

 

Please advise.   

 

If you have any queries in the meantime,  please do not hesitate to
contact me.

 

Kind regards,

 

Freedom of Information Officer

King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Denmark Hill, SE5 9RS

020 3299 9000

[1][King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust request email]

 

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London, Guy’s and St Thomas’, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation
Trusts. For more information, visit [2]www.kingshealthpartners.org

 

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 please don't print this e-mail unless you really ne

 

 

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FOI (KING'S COLLEGE HOSPITAL NHS FOUNDATION TRUST), King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Davis,

 

Further to your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the
Act) dated 10^th May 2020, I am writing to confirm the information that
the Trust does and does not hold. 

 

The Trust does hold the information you have requested. The text of your
request is repeated in bold on the attached document, together with the
Trust’s response.

 

You can find out more about the Act and other information resources
released by the Trust on our website at: [1]www.kch.nhs.uk

 

If you are dissatisfied with the Trust’s response, you may appeal to us in
the first instance.  For contact details and a copy of our FOI appeal
process, please see our website or email us at [2][King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust request email]

 

If you remain dissatisfied, you have the right under section 50 of the Act
to apply to the Information Commissioner to seek resolution to the
matter.  Further details can be found on their website at
[3]www.ico.org.uk  

I hope this fulfils your request and we would welcome you feedback on our
FOI service. Please take the time to complete our Customer Satisfaction
Survey which is available online at the following link:

 

[4]http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/D28MWWQ

 

Kind regards,

 

Freedom of Information Officer

King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Denmark Hill, SE5 9RS

020 3299 9000

[5][King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust request email]

 

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We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Frank Davis please sign in and let everyone know.