Subscribe to our newsletter



Local spend


waste diverted from landfill


companies involved were local

Sterile Services Building, Liverpool

Creating a new Central Sterile Services Department in Liverpool

Our team of experts in the health sector have created a brand new Central Sterile Services Department (CSSD) located on the Broadgreen Hospital site for the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust.

The new, purpose built and designed CSSD is a step change for sterile services at the Trust. It is also a great example of collaborative working, with all parties working together to achieve a first-class facility. Furthermore, its development has enabled the Trust to maintain its sterile services in-house, rather than outsourcing.

Sterile Services 2 - Mid.jpg

The former CSSD was in a 1970s building and was no longer fit for purpose. It was housed in a basement with no natural light and aged equipment. The building itself had been added to over the years and the result was a facility that operationally was challenging.

Operations Director, Mike Lane explains:

“It’s cutting edge. It’s going to be a beacon, not just for Merseyside but the whole country. I know that colleagues throughout the NHS are coming here to see what good actually looks like.”

New facility is light and airy

Willmott Dixon handed the new facility over on schedule on December 21, 2018. It was originally expected to be fully operational from February 2019, but this was accelerated to the first week in January as a priority to replace the other unit.

It is bright and airy, with a modern plant room that has enabled the hospital to meet and exceed relevant compliance standards. Manual handling has also been reduced by 80% and the facility includes pleasant and comfortable rest and changing areas for staff, with natural daylight for an improved working environment.

The two-storey building has a ground floor area of 1,200m2 with its own dedicated 220m2 plant room on the first floor, plus additional external engineering on the extended rooftop. Whilst ensuring user needs are met, the design of the new CSSD also sought to reduce unnecessary movements and manual handling, produce cost savings and operational efficiencies.

As you would expect in a state-of-the-art facility, the new CSSD employs some of the latest technology available. All equipment is managed and monitored digitally and the building management system links with estates maintenance to issue an alert when anything is reaching the end of its life or requires attention. Every item is tracked and traceable via a barcode.

Willmott Dixon’s operations director, Mike Lane sums up:

“It’s cutting edge. It’s going to be a beacon, not just for Merseyside but the whole country. I know that colleagues throughout the NHS are coming here to see what good actually looks like.”

Aidan Kehoe, Trust chief executive said:

“I want to thank Liverpool City Council for their support in funding this new multi-million pound facility. We are the only Liverpool Trust that continues to have its own in-house sterile services department, as opposed to outsourcing the service externally.
“With this backing from the council, we will be able to continue to provide an excellent service which greatly benefits our patients. I also want to thank Willmott Dixon and all the sub-contractors who have worked on this project to make sure it is completed on time. You have delivered a fantastic facility.”

Already the new CSSD has hosted visits from other Trusts looking at replicating elements of the design of this unit and workshops have been held.

The learning

As with any project of this kind there were technical obstacles and other issues that had to be overcome as work progressed. Building work was challenged by bad ground conditions and the discovery of services not detailed on any drawings or estate records; it’s a scenario that most estates managers in an old building will be familiar with. They turned out to be obsolete but had to be investigated.

The site is located next to housing and out job was to communicate with local residents and involve them in the project. That saw letter drops, workshops and invitations for residents look once complete so they could see for themselves the important work that takes place inside. We also changed elements of the design to minimise the impact on the residential community, in particular, the plans for exterior artificial lighting were revised.

The internal layout of the facility means that most of the equipment runs along one wall, therefore it was essential to look at the precise detail of each piece of kit and the individual finish for uniformity and to ensure there would be no gaps between items. Gaps could compromise infection control and ventilation, with the potential to harbour bacteria and leakage of air pressure if the trim is not correct.

The positioning of individual pieces of equipment also had to be precise for the supply of water and the drainage system. T

In clean areas, the number of services fitted within the ceiling space has been minimised for ease of access, to reduce disruption to services and maintain the cleanliness of the clean room. Wherever possible valves have been fitted in the external walls of the clean room. The ceiling has been double-skinned so the LED lamps can be changed without having to access the ceiling void.

The levels of the building and the position of the plant room on the first floor necessitated the installation of a lift system – resembling a dumb waiter – to deliver essential consumables and reduce manual handling.


  • Over 90% of people working on site lived within 40 miles of site
  • 70% of labour lived within 20 miles
  • Reduces unnecessary movements and manual handling, producing cost savings and operational efficiencies.




Hollinwood Business Centre, Albert Mill, Albert Street, Hollinwood, Oldham, Lancashire


Tel: 0161 947 3960

Fax: 0161 947 3961