Community Coordinated Burn Care

Community Coordinated Burn Care


Burn injuries can have long-term physical and emotional impacts on children and their families. For optimal recovery, burn injuries need to be treated with immediate first aid and appropriate ongoing care and aftercare to minimise initial injury and optimise long-term outcomes.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are admitted to hospitals with an acute burn injury at a rate three times greater than other Australian children1. Additionally, their length of stay in hospital is approximately 4 days longer 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. However, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services are well placed to provide best practice, comprehensive and culturally safe care.

In partnership with ACCHS, the NSW Statewide Burn Injury Service and The Children's Hospital at Westmead, we will be implementing a burn care, first aid and aftercare training program throughout ACCHS in NSW. We will create communication channels to support collaboration between ACCHS and The Children's Hospital at Westmead to support the capacity of services to provide co-ordinated burn care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children with a burn injury.


  • To partner with ACCHS, build capacity to deliver burn care and strengthen leadership by facilitating a ‘hub-and-spoke’ model of care co-ordination
  • To close the gap in local burn care prevention, first aid and provision of ongoing burn care.
  • To facilitate culturally safe interactions between ACCHS, tertiary burn services and local health services.


  • An Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Reference Group guides all components of this project to ensure cultural safety and adherence to local community needs.
  • We partnered with ACCHS throughout NSW to tailor the burn training to meet the needs and capacity of each individual service.
  • Burn care training, endorsed by the National Association of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers and Practitioners, helps to build capacity of healthcare workers through accumulating Continuing Professional Development hours.
  • The program brings together ACCHS, NSW Statewide Burns Injury Service and The Children’s Hospital at Westmead to deliver community co-ordinated burn care.

Potential Impact

Although our project focuses on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who have sustained a burn injury, all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who use ACCHS who have completed the burn training will benefit from the program. This project has the potential to be scaled up to Aboriginal medical services throughout Australia. Whilst we are targeting burn injuries, this program has the capacity to be translated and implemented for a variety of different health conditions.

Current Status

In 2023 we completed our first tranche of burn care training at Aboriginal Medical Services in Coffs Harbour, Griffth, Moree and Orange. Evaluation of the program will commence at existing services from the beginning of 2024.

We are currently looking to recruit 10-12 NSW ACCHS to complete our burn training in 2024.

I am an ACCHS looking to participate in training. Who do I speak to for more information?

Contact a member of the research team by emailing

If you would like to participate in the burn care training, members of our research team will contact you to arrange a date/time suitable for a face-to-face meeting. We should only need an hour of your time; we will provide lunch and answer any questions you may have about the training. During this meeting, we will also discuss future dates for the burn care training to be delivered at your ACCHS.

I am an ACCHS looking to participate in training. How can I register?

Click on the link below to take you through to the registration form. One of our research team members will then get in contact with you

Register here


1. Ryder, C., et al., Factors contributing to longer length of stay in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children hospitalised for burn injury. Injury Epidemiology, 2020. 7(1): p. 1-11