Burns

The QVH Burns Unit is a key member of the South East Burns Network which covers Kent, Surrey, Sussex and parts of South London. It provides all levels of adult care and up to high dependency care for children.

In addition, we provide an outpatient clinic, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and psychological support, rehabilitation for patients recovering from major burn injury and reconstruction clinics to review healed burns. QVH is also expanding its service to managing vascular anomalies in children and adults.

The QVH Outreach Burns Service provides specialist care for those patients within the region with burns that are not able to be transferred to the Burns Unit or for those with smaller burns who can be managed as out-patients nearer to their homes. In addition we have recently established burns clinics in Brighton and plan to establish more in other parts of the region.

The burns team prefer healthcare professionals to contact them directly by telephone (01342 414440) for advice and to speed up the referral of any acute or chronic burn injury for review. Patients with burn scars that impair function or are symptomatic can be referred into the adult or paediatric burn reconstruction clinic by referral letter or using Choose & Book.

Clinical effectiveness

In 2015 the burns service accepted 1,094 adult referrals. Of these, 232 patients required inpatient care and 34 of these needed treatment in our critical care unit. Eight patients received specialist rehabilitation care in our dedicated ‘burns rehabilitation flats’ facility.

We also accepted 934 paediatric burns referrals, 68 of whom required inpatient care on our paediatric ward.

Burns healing in less than 21 days are less likely to be associated with poor long term scars. A shorter burn healing time may reflect better quality of care through dressings, surgery and prevention of infection. In 2015 the average healing time for adult burns was 14 days and the average healing time for paediatric burns was 11 days.

Length of inpatient stay of burns patients is related to the size of their burn, measured as a percentage of their body surface area. We aim that on average, adult patients under the age of 65 should require 1 day inpatient stay per 1% burn. Patients over 65 should require a two-day stay per 1% burn; the length of stay is often complicated by the requirement of complex social care packages which take time to arrange.

Burn wounds healing within 21 days (adult)
QVH target: 100% < 21 days

2015/16: 70.40%
2014/15: 64%
2013/14: 62%
2012/13: 73%
2011/12: 72%
2010/11: 77%

Full details of our patient safety, patient experience and clinical effectiveness measures are published in our annual Quality Report. Find the latest version here.

We also run a burns support group for people affected by burns (treated at QVH or other hospitals. You can find out more here.

Cool, call, cover

First aid advice for burns and scalds and tips on how to prevent them.

Patient information leaflets