The ‘National Standards for Provision and Outcomes in Adult and Paediatric Burn Care’ presented here are the result of a collaboration between the British Burn Association (BBA) and the burn care Operational Delivery Networks (ODNs) covering England and Wales. They are based on two key documents: the 2013 National Network for Burn Care (NNBC) ‘National Burn Care Standards’ and the BBA ‘Outcome Measures for Adult and Paediatric Services’ (2nd edition) published in 2015.
The NNBC was the forerunner of the Burn Care Clinical Reference Group (CRG) and thus, the 2013 National Burn Care Standards were owned by NHS England. This excellent document was due for revision in April 2015. Early in 2017, the current Major Trauma CRG chair requested that the BBA and ODNs take on the revision, framing the new version as Professional Standards produced by the burn care professions.
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, and the project received 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.
The product of the BSRG’s work, ‘National Standards for Provision and Outcomes in Adult and Paediatric Burn Care’, builds upon and refines the 2013 National Burn Care 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 would result in optimal care.
To maintain a focus on burn care, in areas where general standards and policies apply to the whole of the NHS were previously included, these have been removed. This includes those relating to adult and children’s safeguarding. Once published, the document will be used by NHS England commissioners and the Major Trauma CRG, to inform the commissioning service specification for specialised burn care.
‘National Standards for Provision and Outcomes in Adult and Paediatric Burn Care’ covers the entire burn care pathway and aims to provide the means to measure the capability of individual burn services as a whole and the ODN 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. Thus, at some stage in the future, Burn Care Services will need to be assessed for compliance with the standards and outcomes 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 BSRG recommends that networks and service complete a self-assessment against the standards every two years, forming part of their respective development plans. Similarly, it is recommended that, as directed and determined by NHS England and specialised burn care commissioners, formal peer review and designation take place every four to five years.
The BBA will review ‘National Standards for Provision and Outcomes in Adult and Paediatric Burn Care’ during the year 2022-23.
BBA Chair (2016 – 2018)
Chair of the Burn Standards Review Group
Network Manager London & South East Burns Network
Chair of the National Burns ODN Group