Helen Macpherson Smith Trust

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Case Study: The Alfred

ProjectNew life-saving specialist burns unit now an Australian leader

Amount$981,000 (total)

Date1993, 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2006

ProgramPast Programs | Health

These grants were approved under our previous grants policy
Rural and regional Victoria Provide education and training for rural and regional clinicians
Building organisational capacity Develop a highly responsive, large specialist unit dedicated to treatment and care of burns victims
Extending opportunity Provide acute care for severely injured burns victims, along with reconstructive surgery, rehabilitation and outpatient services for minor burns
Collaboration and partnership Widespread collaborations including Royal Children’s Hospital, state and overseas health organisations, community and industry groups and universities

New life-saving specialist burns unit now an Australian leader

Following HMSTrust grants totalling nearly $1 million between 1992 and 2005, The Alfred’s burns treatment facilities have grown from six beds in a general surgical ward to one of Australia’s leading specialist units.

  • In 1992, The Alfred had extremely limited burns facilities. Rooms were not designed for burns victims, there was no capacity for emergencies such as devastating bushfires and there was no dedicated operating suite for reconstructive surgery.
  • HMSTrust’s funding facilitated the specialist Helen Macpherson Smith Burns Unit which admits more than 300 patients annually from across Victoria and reviews more than 1000 outpatients. A research unit studies the causes and mechanisms of burn injuries, evaluates emerging treatment technologies and enabled the Burns Unit to become the first in Australia to develop life-saving skin culture techniques.
  • Developed in collaboration with the Royal Children’s Hospital, the Victorian State Burns Clinical Practice Guidelines and a comprehensive burns care website quickly inform health professionals caring for burns victims.
  • In 2008, the Bi-National Burns Registry created by The Alfred became a collaboration between the Australian and New Zealand Burn Association and Monash University. A vital benchmarking database, the registry captures epidemiological, quality of care and outcome data for patients admitted to all Australian and New Zealand burns units.
  • The Burns Unit trains rural and regional clinicians, collaborates with community and industry groups on burns awareness campaigns and provides first aid education and training.

Website: www.alfredhealth.org.au

“The Victorian Adult Burns Service’s relationship with HMSTrust enabled a strategic approach to developing infrastructure, clinical care, education and training. The support ensures the unit can fulfil its role as a statewide service and a leader in all aspects of burn care.” Heather Cleland, Director Victorian Adult Burns Service, The Alfred.