Development of a Regional Burns Service – Gold Coast University Hospital, Queensland, Australia.

Dr Liesel Porrett1, Dr  Melissa  Short1

1Gold Coast University Hospital, Southport , Australia


Gold Coast University Hospital is the 6th largest paediatric unit in Australia.  Established in 2013, it provides care for patients in South East Queensland and Northern NSW where previously, patients were seen in Brisbane. There has been an increase in demand for clinical services, with an estimated 6% per year increase in paediatric Emergency Department encounters and a 36% increase in episodes of care for the paediatric population.  There has also been a significant increase in the presentation of paediatric burns to our service.

To account for this growth, there has been an expansion in medical, nursing and allied health staff, with variation in clinical experience being encountered and a multidisciplinary approach to the management of burns being implemented.

Challenges are often faced when establishing a service less than 100km away from a major Quaternary paediatric hospital.  This is especially true in a non-paediatric dedicated centre covering a geographically diverse population, encompassing two Australian States with less access to service funding.

Having identified a need for further service development, standardisation and streamlining of care, we piloted a survey to identify clinical experience baselines, allowing us to further develop staff education programs, employ standardised clinical management pathways (analgesia, dressing and referral) and address the clinical need for the implementation of a multidisciplinary burns telehealth service.

We have successfully improved the quality of health service provision and now deliver the highest standards of care, from patient referral, via the Emergency Department / Clinic through to the point of discharge from our service.


SET 5 Paediatric Surgical Trainee based at the Gold Coast University Hospital.

Previous training at Queensland Children’s Hospital from 2016 & 2017  and as a General Surgical SET Trainee at the Townsville Hospital.

Interest in burns and reconstructive surgery.


ANZBA is a not for profit organisation and the peak body for health professionals responsible for the care of the burn injured in Australia and New Zealand. ANZBA encourages higher standards of care through education, performance monitoring and research.

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