The SWUK Burn Care ODN is fortunate to have the Children's Burns Research Centre.  This is a multi-disciplinary consortium led by the University of Bristol in partnership with the University of the West of England, Cardiff University, University of Bath and University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust (UH Bristol).

The Centre is based with the South West UK Children's Burn Centre at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, and has an office at Cardiff University.

The Children's Burns Research Centre forms part of the Burns Collective alongside the Birmingham Burn Injury Research Centre led by Mr Naiem Moiemen.

The research consortium has a track record of working together and has partnered with voluntary agencies and patient groups, with the aims of delivering a patient-centred research programme to provide measurable outcomes for real patient benefit, and developing multidisciplinary research capacity in burns research.

The SWUK ODN aims to facilitate research in the South West of England and South/Mid Wales enabling patients to take part in multi-centre national research studies.

Core Outcome Set for Burn Care Research (COSB)


Through systematic review, the Children’s Burns Research Centre in Bristol, in partnership with the University of Bristol, have identified that there are hundreds of different outcomes reported in research papers regarding burns. This makes it difficult to compare and identify the most effective interventions for patients to optimise their care.  The Core Outcome Set for Burn Care Research (COSB) is a PHD project led by Dr Amber Young, which aims to investigate and agree on the most important outcome measures according to people with burn injury, their families and professionals and how to measure these in a reliable and practical way.

This study has involved more than 800 international participants and more than 120 patients, in agreeing which are the most important outcomes to report in trials relating to burn care.  A consensus meeting was held on the 9 October at the British Medical Association in London to decide on the final Core Outcome Set. A total of 28 participants attended the meeting, with 19 more casting their votes via telephone.  Participants included both professionals and patients/parents of patients and welcomed international input from areas such as the UK, Australia, the USA and Norway. The consensus meeting included two rounds of voting and further discussion amongst participants, allowing participants to have their say on the most and least important outcomes in burn recovery. The final Core Outcome Set was agreed on and the results will be published in the final COSB meeting report as well as a peer-reviewed journal.  Further research will decide on the most effective way of measuring these outcomes in burn care recovery.

If you have any questions about the survey, please contact the COSB team at: 

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Early Laser for Burn Scars (ELABS) - A prospective randomised, controlled trial (RCT) to study the effectiveness of the treatment of hypertrophic burn scars with Pulsed Dye Laser (PDL) and standard care compared to standard care alone


Hypertrophic scars from burns injury affect about 120,000 people per year in the UK.  These scars are red, thick and firm.  They can be tight, itchy and painful with potential to reduce the ability to carry out everyday activities; such as eating, sleeping or getting around.  They can also affect self-esteem and body image for the patient.  All of this can severely impact on return to work, quality of life and cause depression.  

More people now survive large burn injury due to progress in both surgery and medicine.  This means that there are more people that have to live with large, life-long scars.  The best way to treat hypertrophic burn scars has not been identified and there is a definite clinical need to improve the treatment of these scars.  Indeed the ambition statement of the national fundraising charity, Scar Free Foundation, is "to achieve scar free healing within a generation". 

The aim of this study is to test if early treatment with pulsed dye laser leads to an improved outcome for the patient, both in their quality of life and in the appearance and quality of their scar.  It is thought that, if laser treatment is used at an early stage of scar healing, the degree of scarring will be reduced by stopping the formation of these scars.  If laser treatment proves effective, not only will the outcome for the patient be improved but also the cost efficiency for the NHS.  Additionally, this may lead to the creation of a new NICE guideline on scar treatment.

In April 2017, a patient group met to discuss the study and contribute towards its design.  The potential aim and benefit of this study was unanimously agreed.  The group was keen to see quality of life as a measured outcome, in addition to scar appearance.  Members from this group will continue to have input throughout the study

This will be a gold-standard randomised, controlled trial; undertaken by NHS staff in seven hospitals across the UK.  A total of 150 patients with burn scars will be recruited.  Half will receive standard of care treatment for a period of 6 months, while half will receive a course of three laser treatments, in addition to the standard treatment.  The participants will assess both their scar features and quality of life using simple questionnaires.  Patient experience and health economics will also be assessed and measured.

The results will be presented at both UK and international meetings for the burns community; and published in relevant journals.  It will be broadcast to charities such as Scar Free Foundation, Changing Faces, Dan’s Fund and TalkHealth websites, which host online health hubs for burn scar patients.


Useful links:

Restore is a Medical charity advancing burns and scar research. They also award fellowships for innovative investigations into wound and scar management.Visit the Restore website for further information.