The NHS Scotland Pharmaceutical ‘Specials’ Service manufactures medicines that are required when available licensed medicines do not meet the specific needs of patients. It manufactures life-saving treatments that are provided to patients across Scotland and throughout the UK. 

The two current NHS Scotland manufacturing units based at Ninewells and the Western Infirmary Glasgow will be amalgamated into the new purpose-built facility. The service will also provide support to Research & Development in NHS Scotland and Scottish Universities by providing medicines for use in clinical trials.

This is a hugely important and exciting opportunity for establishing a national pharmaceutical manufacturing service on the Ninewells site that will contribute to the care of NHS patients throughout the UK over the next 30 years and beyond.

– Dr Baxter Millar, Head of NHS Scotland Pharmaceutical ‘Specials’ Service 

Designing and building a flexible, futureproof national pharmaceutical manufacturing facility  

Our brief for this DBFM contract was to create a flexible design that provided NHS Scotland with a facility that could be easily upgraded to meet future new manufacturing processes, with minimal disruption. We also worked closely with stakeholders so we had a complete understanding of all process flow requirements including people, product and waste. 

Main contractor for pharmaceuticals manufacturing facility for healthcare authority

Designing facilities to the required healthcare standards 

Meeting the brief for this highly specialist facility meant the majority of areas needed to be designed to specific technical standards. 

Cleanrooms were designed to cGMP standards with all grades having a high-quality vinyl finish applied to floors, walls and ceilings. This provides flexibility in allowing all areas to be upgraded should this be required in future.  

Non-cGMP support accommodation included offices, warehouse, refrigerated cold rooms, canteen, collaborative spaces and meeting areas, all designed to provide a pleasant workspace and encourage high productivity. 

The facility is compliant with the requirements of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). It contains a Building Management System and a Validated Environmental Monitoring System, including environmental control with terminal high-efficiency particulate air filters and a highly regulated pressure regime. Process utilities included water for injection, purified water, pure steam, breathing air, speciality gases, chilled water and steam.  

Construction of pharmaceuticals manufacturing facility for NHS Scotland

Keeping facilities operating 

The facility has been designed with the flexibility to run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Robertson Facilities Management will provide ongoing maintenance support so that this critically important facility can keep operating efficiently at all times.   

Project team 

Architect: Sheppard Robson 
Project manager: Amber Blue 
Principal contractor: Robertson Tayside 
Civil & structural engineer: Woolgar Hunter 
M&E engineer: BakerHicks 
CDM coordinator: Alliance CDM 
BREEAM assessor: Wallace Whittle 
Clean Rooms - T-Squared 
Fire Engineer - Atelier Ten 
Sustainability Consultant - TÜV SÜD

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