Frenchay Hospital designated one of four specialist paediatric burns centres in the UK

Friday, 24 September 2010

North Bristol NHS Trust's Frenchay Hospital will now treat complex burns cases in children from an expanded region after being designated a specialist paediatric burns centre – one of four in England and Wales.

As part of the South West UK Burn Care Network, the centre will treat children who have suffered severe burns and live in the areas covered by the South West and part of the South Central strategic health authorities as well as South Wales.

Following the National Burn Care Review in 2001, four networks have been set up across the country to concentrate resources and expertise in specialist centres.

The South West UK Burn Care network serves a population of 10 million people from Hereford to the Isles of Scilly and from Oxfordshire to the Isle of Wight, as well as South Wales.

The centre at Frenchay Hospital, in conjunction with the Bristol Royal Hospital for children, will now take the most severe and complex burns cases in children from across the area at any time.

Frenchay's specialist teams are experienced in the most complex paediatric burn care management as well as treating minor burns in children from across the South West.

Complex cases are children who have burns over 30 per cent of their bodies or who are seriously ill following a burn injury, commonly caused by hot water scalds or house fires.

Programmes for rehabilitation, outreach and long term treatment of patients will be implemented to enable care to be delivered or accessed nearer to where children and their families live as soon as possible.

Amber Young, clinical lead for Specialised Paediatrics at Frenchay, said: "Centralising this service means that specialists dealing with these rare cases can maintain expertise and provide high quality experienced-based care with a dedicated team purely for children with burn injuries.

"The development of an outreach service enables care of the same high standard to be delivered in hospitals closer to home as soon as possible.

"Our team of specialists are child and family-focused for every element of care through immediate assessment and surgery to scar therapy, schooling and psychology.

"Bristol is now one of four paediatric burns centres for England and Wales which is a major advance in paediatric burn care in our area and will help us to develop the service even more."

Logan's story

Four-year-old Logan Adams was rushed to Bristol's Frenchay Hospital suffering severe burns after his pyjamas caught fire when he climbed on top of a cooker at home in Haydon Wick, Swindon.

He suffered 33 per cent burns across his body and endured nine hours of emergency surgery and skin grafts at the South West Regional Paediatric Burns Service at Frenchay.

Logan's pyjamas were engulfed in flames after he and his six-year-old sister climbed up to reach a cupboard and accidentally turned the cooker on in May last year.

He was airlifted to Frenchay's specialist paediatric burns and plastic surgery team with expertise in complex burns cases.

Logan spent the next five weeks in hospital where a team of nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and play assistants helped him to recover.

He spent a further three weeks at Frenchay after having more surgery to the skin grafts on his chest which had begun to tighten and restrict the movement of his neck.

Logan's mum Denise Rendell, 29, said: "We didn't know anything about burns or skin grafts but the surgeons told us everything that could happen so we were prepared, which was a real help.

"Logan was in theatre every day and had four operations in total. He spent so much time in bed unable to move that he had to learn how to walk again and is still having physiotherapy."

Logan started school in September last year, just a few weeks after leaving hospital, and staff from Frenchay's paediatric burns outreach team visited his school to ensure his after-care could continue.

Ms Rendell said: "We stayed in the parent's accommodation for two months, because it was important for me to be here for Logan.

"Being at the hospital with such a brilliant team of people helped us see the light at the end of the tunnel."

Logan's dad Daniel Adams, 36, said: "I'm really happy that we came to Frenchay, the whole experience was made better by the positivity of the surgeons through to the play team, they were always there for Logan, and for us."

Logan features in a video about the South West UK Burn Care Network at Frenchay Hospital. You can view the video within the A to Z Services section, children's burns.