Cramlington CSSD

Design and build of new Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s new CSSD facility.


In 2020, Merit was awarded the project to design and construct Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s new build sterilisation services and decontamination supercenter, built next to its emergency hospital in Cramlington.



The new CSSD facility is carbon neutral and provides a critical support service for the Trust and other healthcare organisations. It will have the ability to disinfect and sterilise more than half a million pieces of medical equipment a year, used in a wide range of departments and in GP practices.

The two-storey bespoke facility replaces and centralises the Trust’s two sterilisation departments currently located at Wansbeck and North Tyneside Hospitals.

Merit’s team managed all work activities associated with the project including managing our embedded supply chain partners with whom we have worked with for 20 years to support with structural steel, civils and structural works. Our construction methodologies took into the logistics and emergency procedures associated with the logistics and emergency procedures associated with this type of hospital setting including providing continuous ambulance access and helicopter access, as required.

Merit was approached by Dysart, the developer of the land adjacent to Cramlington Hospital about the fast-track construction of the CSSD.

Merit’s team produced a design proposal with a fixed price offer including the process equipment within 10 days with a cost breakdown for review. Feedback was given within days by Dysart that cost reductions were needed, so Merit re-specified the facility without loss of functionality. The resultant savings reduced the price by approximately £500k, bringing it in line with affordability.

Merit implemented Version 2.0 of the FLEXI POD® platform design which was adapted with a building specific POD and PAM strategy for the CSSD application, including HTM/HBN compliance.

During the tendering of the works, an innovative solution for the building HVAC with air source heat pumps and electric steam generators for the autoclave equipment was proposed by Merit. This change in specification resulted in the elimination of the utility steam boiler systems and the natural gas supply to the building delivering zero carbon emissions designs.