The ‘National Standards for the Provision of Adult and Paediatric Burn Care’ (2023) (‘the BBA Standards’) have been developed by a small working group from the British Burn Association. This is the second iteration of the BBA Standards, following their first publication in 2018.
The group convened to take on the project (the Burn Standards Review Group – BSRG) included representatives from all areas of the burns multi-disciplinary team and from the whole geography of specialised burn care in Great Britain and Ireland. Patients were also represented, with input from survivor support groups and charities. Early draft documents and proposals were widely shared with burn care professionals outside the BSRG, through regional and network forums and BBA Special Interest Groups (SIGs). Before publication, the final draft document was shared with the entire BBA membership, before being ratified at the 2023 BBA Annual Conference in Dublin.
The product of the BSRG’s work builds upon and refines the 2018 BBA Standards and clearly articulates the aspects of burn care that the BSRG considered to be essential for high quality care and outcomes for patients, their families and carers. The document also describes standards that are desirable, offering examples of good practice and excellence. Achieving all desirable standards should result in optimal care. To maintain a focus on burn care, the 2023 BBA Standards exclude general standards and policies that apply to the whole of the NHS, for example in Infection Control and Safeguarding.
The BBA Standards are being used by NHS England commissioners, to inform the commissioning service specification for specialised burn care. As part of the NHS service specification, all specialised burn care providers are required to be compliant with all the essential BBA standards.
The BBA Standards cover the entire burn care pathway and aim to provide the means to measure the capability of individual burn services as a whole and the clinical network in which they operate. By defining standards, a governance framework is established against which it is possible to measure the quality of burn care that patients receive, regardless of their point of entry into a specialist Burn Care Service. Burn Care Services will need to be assessed for compliance with the standards set out in the document. It is hoped that by doing so, equitable provision of burn care will be ensured for patients and their families.
The BBA will review ‘National Standards for Provision and Outcomes in Adult and Paediatric Burn Care’ during the year 2027-2028. The Association is also working on a review of Burn Outcome measures, which were previously published alongside the BBA Standards in 2018. A revision of the 2018 Outcomes should be completed in 2024.
Co-Chairs of the Burn Standards Review Group
Network Manager London & South East Burns Network
Chair of the National Burns ODN Group