Burn accidents costing NHS £20 million per annum, show latest statistics on National Burn Awareness Day

Today, on National Burn Awareness Day 2018, exclusive data shows the NHS burns services treated more than 15,000 patients for burns and scalds in 2017 at a cost of more than £20 million.

The Children’s Burns Trust, together with the British Burn Association, have released this exclusive insight from the International Burn Injury Database to raise awareness of burn prevention and burn-related first aid on National Burn Awareness Day 2018.

The two leading organisations in burn prevention and support hope that by drawing attention to the cost of burn injuries to the NHS, that more people will understand the importance of burn prevention and good first aid, which are vital in reducing the number of injuries – as well as the pressure on NHS burns services.

The figures released include those patients treated in burns centres, burns units and burns facilities across England and Wales. It only relates to the more serious injuries and does not include the cost of the thousands more patients seen for more minor burns in A&E departments.

As well as the physical and emotional impact a burn injury has on the individual and their family, the cost to the health service is staggering. In 2017 more than 40 admissions to NHS burns services were classified as extremely severe, with these burns costing more than £95,000 each to treat.

The Children’s Burns Trust, whose work is focused on children and their families, have highlighted that a significant proportion of burns and scalds are among children under the age of 5 where the most prevalent cause of injury is from hot liquids, such as tea and coffee spills. Accidents like these are entirely preventable.

Ken Dunn, Consultant Burns and Plastic Surgeon and member of the British Burn Association’s Prevention Committee, said: “Looking at the shocking number of burn and scald injuries that take place across the UK every year in the context of the cost to the NHS brings into stark reality how common such injuries are.

The vast majority of burn injuries are accidents, and whether suffered by adults, children or the elderly, most are entirely avoidable. On National Burns Awareness Day 2018, we need to see greater awareness about prevention and good first aid, both of which are key in reducing the number of accidents.”

Hundreds of NHS Services, Fire and Rescue Services, along with other organisations, come together each year on National Burn Awareness Day to raise awareness of the alarming number of people burned each and every day in the UK – the vast majority of which are preventable. The campaign also helps to promote the vital message of the importance of good first aid if a burn or scald does occur.

All statistics provided by the International Burn Injury Database (iBID: http://www.cbtrust.org.uk/burn-prevention/database/).

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