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St Andrews - Children's Burns Service

Welcome to the St. Andrews Children's Burns Service 

Mid Essex Hospital is home to the internationally-renowned St Andrews Burns Centre which provides care to children with the most complex burn injuries from across London and the South East of England and serves a population of 21million.

The St. Andrews Burn Centre includes the Burns Intensive Care Unit, Children’s Burns Ward, Adult Burn Ward, and Burns Outpatients.

Luckily, serious burn injuries affect only a small number of children, and to ensure staff caring for them have the knowledge and experience to do so the children are treated in supra regional centre’s such as St. Andrews, where a children’s burns specialist multi-disciplinary team can take care of the child.

Burns Intensive Care is designed to provide advanced treatment for the child with a burn injury. Children who need highly skilled medical attention, including close observation and the use of sophisticated monitoring equipment and comprehensive skin treatments are admitted to Burns ITU.

In each room, there is a monitor that records the child’s heart rate, blood pressure, respirations and pressure in the heart. Other specialised equipment may also be used to care for your child.

The purpose built Children’s Burns Ward opened in the summer of 2010. It can take children up to the age of 16years primarily from the South East of England, but occasionally from anywhere in the country if there is a shortage of burns beds. We can accept all types of burn injury including scalds, flame, chemical and electrical burns, as well as skin loss conditions such as scalded skin syndrome.

The philosophy of the Unit is to provide the highest standard of burn injury care to the child, the parents and others who are directly or indirectly involved both during and after hospitalisation. Treatment is under constant review and updated subject to relevant research.

The ward has four side rooms and a four bedded bay for inpatients, a treatment room and a treatment bathroom. The ward has inpatient children and children who are returning for dressing changes and various therapies.
Because of the complex nature of burns and their physical and psychological impact on patients and their families, the service utilises the expertise of many different specialists. All admissions are assessed by a burns nurse, burns surgeon, occupational therapist and physiotherapist. We also have play specialists, nursery nurses, hospital school team, dietician, psychotherapy team, chaplaincy team, social worker and pharmacists as part of our team.

The doctors, nurses and therapists plan care for the individual child and family from the time of admission, through to discharge and then ongoing for as long as required. The Children’s Burns Ward offers the latest in burn dressings, specialised wound care, and plastic and reconstructive surgical techniques, but treatment is guided by minimising pain and trauma for the child.

At the Children’s Burns Ward, we know that being in the hospital with an injury can be very stressful for both the child and the family. We also know that no one knows the child as well as the parents. That’s why we take a family-centred care approach, and work in partnership with children/ young people and their families in determining treatment plans. 

Children’s Burns Unit Specialist Services 

  • Physiotherapy

  • Occupational Therapy

  • Psychology

  • Play Specialist and School Team

  • Burned Children’s Club



At the Children’s Burn Ward, your child’s health and recovery are our primary concerns. We realise this is a stressful time for you, so we want to provide as much support as possible. Depending on the severity of the burn injury, your child will be staying in the Children’s Burn Ward (E225) of the St. Andrews Centre, or in the Burns Intensive Care Unit (E220)

Only two visitors per child are allowed at any one time. Parents may visit at any time over 24hours. One parent may stay overnight. Other visitors may visit with parents’ permission from 10am to 8pm. Parents may call at any time to check on their child’s condition:

  • Burns Intensive Care Unit on 01245 516037/8

  • Children’s Burn Ward on 01245 516973/4


Infection Prevention 

In an effort to minimise the spread of infection, you will be asked to use the alcohol gel on entry and exit, and wear an apron whilst in the room to cover your clothes while visiting. Please wash your hands with soap and water before leaving the patient’s room and place aprons in the bins provided. Notify the nurse if you have a cold or other communicable disease before entering a patient’s room. Please do not visit if you have diarrhoea or vomiting. 

Burns Outpatients 

In the Burn Outpatient Clinic you will be seen by a burns nurse. You may also be treated by a physiotherapist, or an occupational therapist to help with the on-going recovery from a burn injury. Your wound will be checked and a plan will be devised. If your child needs pain control medicine, please give it to your child 30 minutes before the scheduled appointment time. 

Our Team 

We have 4 Burns Consultants who lead our team of specialist doctors.
We also have a team of anaesthetists who will lead on the care of the children in Burns ITU and will look after your child’s pain control throughout their stay.

The nursing team is comprised of highly skilled nurses, many of them children’s trained, who are used to looking after children with varying degrees of burn injury and skin loss conditions. 

Safeguarding Children 

'Every child and young person has a right to life free from abuse'

All members of staff working in the Children’s Burn Service have a professional responsibility to safeguard and protect children. Safeguarding Children (previously Child Protection) is a highly emotive subject, evoking strong feelings in all of us. In order to provide the most effective support and help for vulnerable children and their families, we have a team of specialist doctors and nurses on site.