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Second survey to improve international burns care launched

Dressing burned wound stock photo

Dressing burned wound stock photoMangTeng

Priorities in Global Burns Research logo

Press release issued: 6 November 2023

People are being asked to complete an online survey to help identify the top ten global burns research priorities and improve burns care around the world. The survey is part of an international partnership set up to give a louder voice to burns patients, carers and clinicians.

The Priorities in Global Burns Research Partnership is a collaboration between the University of Bristol and James Lind Alliance, and funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). The partnership is run by a Steering Group made up of clinicians, representatives from different international organisations involved in burns care and research, including patients and members of the public.

Burn injuries affect 11 million people worldwide and 140,000 patients in England each year, with around 70% of burns in lower income countries such as in Africa and South-East Asia. 

Many patients with burns have difficulties which affect their daily lives in lots of different ways, such as walking, dressing, mental health and the challenges of living with scars. Despite the importance of these issues, there is limited research evidence available to inform healthcare professionals how to make treatment decisions. This limits progress, results in care that varies between hospitals, and means patients may not get the best results.

This project was part of the late Professor Amber Young's NIHR Advanced Fellowship. Professor Young, Senior Lecturer at the Bristol Centre for Surgical Research, and NIHR Bristol Biomedical Research Centre (NIHR Bristol BRC) and Consultant Paediatric Anaesthetist at University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust (UHBW), was dedicated to improving burns care for patients all over the world. Amber very sadly passed away in September 2022, after living with Stage 4 cancer for a number of years.

Jane Blazeby, Amber's friend, colleague and Professor of Surgery at Bristol Medical School: Population Health Sciences (PHS), who will help continue the project, said: “Amber saw this project to find the top ten most important unanswered questions in global burns care as her legacy. In Amber’s memory, the team is determined to complete her work to improve burns care for patients and survivors all over the world."

In the first stage of the project, over 1,600 people from 79 countries completed the initial online survey. These responses have been analysed to produce a list of unanswered questions to improve global burns care.

The second survey will ask burns survivors, their families and carers, and health care professionals to pick ten questions from this list which are most important to them.  A final workshop of survivors, carers and health care professionals will meet early next year to select the final top ten from the 18 questions selected by the majority of people who completed the survey.

These top ten research questions will be used as information for research funders and researchers so that studies can focus on the issues that are most important to patients and clinicians.  This will enable the project to find answers to the most important research questions in burn care across the world so people can make the best decisions about care based on evidence.

The second survey should take less than ten minutes to complete and is available in seven languages - English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese and Vietnamese.

To complete the online survey go to:

For more information about the project, visit:

Further information

About the James Lind Alliance
The James Lind Alliance (JLA) is a non-profit making initiative bringing patients, carers and clinicians together in JLA Priority Setting Partnerships (PSPs).   The JLA PSPs identify and prioritise unanswered questions or evidence uncertainties that they agree are the most important, so that health research funders are aware of the issues that matter most to the people who need to use the research in their everyday lives.

About the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR)
The mission of the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) is to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research. We do this by:

  • Funding high quality, timely research that benefits the NHS, public health and social care;
  • Investing in world-class expertise, facilities and a skilled delivery workforce to translate discoveries into improved treatments and services;
  • Partnering with patients, service users, carers and communities, improving the relevance, quality and impact of our research;
  • Attracting, training and supporting the best researchers to tackle complex health and social care challenges;
  • Collaborating with other public funders, charities and industry to help shape a cohesive and globally competitive research system;
  • Funding applied global health research and training to meet the needs of the poorest people in low and middle income countries.

NIHR is funded by the Department of Health and Social Care. Its work in low and middle income countries is principally funded through UK Aid from the UK government.

The NIHR is a major funder of global health research and training.

About the NIHR Bristol Biomedical Research Centre
The NIHR Bristol Biomedical Research Centre's (NIHR Bristol BRC) innovative biomedical research takes science from the laboratory bench or computer and develops it into new drugs, treatments and health advice. It focuses on early phase translational research and experimental medicine that aims to improve mental and respiratory health, optimise physical activity, nutrition and weight maintenance in the population, and introduce new surgical and orthopaedic interventions safely and ethically.

NIHR Bristol BRC draws on Bristol's expertise in developing interventions to improve the health of patients and the public. Its world-leading scientists use detailed genetic and molecular data to understand causes of disease. They also evaluate new surgical procedures and analyse large-scale datasets from records collected during routine NHS care. NIHR Bristol BRC is unique among the NIHR’s 20 BRCs across England, thanks to its expertise in ground-breaking population health research.

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