STRUCTURE: The burns care system across three regions is “unsustainable in the long term”, according to a report revealed under the Freedom of Information Act.

A paper prepared for NHS London said the configuration of the London and South East Burns Network, which serves London, East of England and South East Coast strategic health authorities, was “sub optimal”.

Working with the three regions’ specialised commissioning groups and that of NHS South Central, London is now preparing a “case for change” for the service.

The network uses services based at Mid Essex Hospital Services Trust, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital Foundation Trust, Queen Victoria Hospital Foundation Trust and Buckinghamshire Healthcare Trust.

The report said in 2009 services at the first three trusts were recognised as not compliant with the standards and recommendations in the 2001 Burn Care Review, and while “safe and effective in the short term” were not sustainable long-term.

It said the Essex trust had now co-located paediatric intensive care unit, Chelsea and Westminster had “severe space constraints” and Queen Victoria had “no plans to co-locate an A&E and trauma service on the hospital site.”

The four services treat roughly 2,500 in-patient cases each year

The NHS London document said the review should seek to identify an alternative configuration that meets key national standards and is capable of providing care at the same high level of quality or higher.

The work was being carried out on behalf of London SCG by Commissioning Support for London, which was wound up last Thursday, and is now being taken over by London Health Programmes.