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Burns: Liverpool

Volume 493: debated on Friday 12 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment he has made of the recommendation put forward by the National Burns Network Board for the treatment of (a) adult and (b) paediatric burns patients in Liverpool; and if he will make a statement; (279637)

(2) what his latest assessment is of the standards of care for (a) adult and (b) paediatric burns patients in Liverpool.

The Northern Burns Care Network has developed proposals for the future configuration of supra-regional burns care adult and paediatric centres, for the treatment of the most serious and highly complex patients. This included an extensive process of engagement and involvement of users/carers, clinicians, and overview and scrutiny committee representatives across the North West, North East, Yorkshire and Humber and North Wales.

The recommendations from these proposals will be considered over the next six weeks by the strategic health authority assurance review team, a workshop of Overview and Scrutiny Committees, the National Burns Care Group and the National Specialised Commissioning Group. In the light of advice from these fora, local commissioners will then take decisions about this phase of the response to the National Burn Care Review.

For the whole of the northern network, the total number of very severe burns patients is estimated to be 11-22 children and 45-55 adults per annum. Based on the recommended configuration being considered for supra-regional centres, the potential number of such patients requiring transfer from Liverpool hospitals would be approximately three children and eight adults per annum. Any patients treated within these services will be transferred back to their local ‘regional burn care’ centres once they are well enough to continue their rehabilitation and long-term care.

The National Burn Care Group has developed clinically-led standards for specialised burn care based on the National Burn Care Review. Currently, no hospitals in the northern network meet the new burns care standards for Supra-Regional Centres. The new proposals are an initial step towards achieving these standards. In addition, support from the Northern Burn Care Network will continue to be given to upgrade the facilities of Regional Burn Care Centres across the network and also to strengthen the Regional Centres to enable them to give improved support to patients currently treated for more minor burn injuries in primary care and district general hospitals.