Burn Injury

Community Coordinated Burn Care


  • Rates of burn injuries are higher for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children; their mean stay in hospital is longer and suffer more complications compared to other Australian children.
  • There are very few healthcare services in NSW with the cultural safety or expertise needed for aftercare and recovery of burn injury for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people report that they would prefer to attend their own Aboriginal medical service rather than a hospital where systemic racism, including issues of access are still evident


  • The project will implement and evaluate a network of Aboriginal community service providers to link in with the burn unit at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead (CHW) to provide co-ordinated, optimal ongoing care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children with a burn injury.
  • To develop a roadmap to upscale and implement this program across Australia.


  • In partnership with the NSW State-wide Injury Service and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health services (ACCHS) in NSW, we will implement a burn education program to upskill ACCHs health workers to provide best practice burn care.
  • We will create communication channels to support collaboration between ACCH and CHW facilitating patient navigation and accessible and adequate provision of ongoing burn care according to burn severity.

Potential Impact

  • This program will result in skilled health workers and health practitioners within ACCHS who provide high quality burn first aid, assess and refer patients for further care at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead (CHW) according to burn severity and provide high quality burn care.
  • The program will result in partnership and ongoing collaboration between ACCHS and CHW.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children will have increased access to culturally safe and high-quality ongoing burn care.

Fast Facts

  • ACCHS provide best practice care with a focus on prevention, early intervention, and comprehensive care.
  • Health programs delivered through ACCHS have demonstrated high Aboriginal patient engagement and positive health outcomes.
  • The NSW State-wide Burn Injury service provides clinical leadership and expertise in management of burn injury, promotes best practice in clinical care and education and has successfully completed approximately 430 session which were presented to approximately 18,500 health practitioners in NSW.

This project is in partnership with the NSW State-wide Burn Injury Service, Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council, Children’s Hospital at Westmead, NSW Rural Doctor’s Network, Flinders University and the National Association of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers and Practitioners. It is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health through the MRFF 2020 Rapid Applied Research Translation Grant Opportunity.