Research from our University will soon be playing an important role in helping prevent and treat children’s burns, through a new centre launched today (Monday) at Frenchay Hospital.

The new Centre for Children’s Burns Research has been awarded £1.5 million over five years from the Healing Foundation, a national charity funding research in new surgical and psychological healing techniques for people living with disfigurement.

Bath’s involvement is in research into clinical treatments for children with burns, including burn wound management. This includes some of our latest research developing a prototype medical dressing that glows under UV light when a wound becomes infected. This provides an early warning system for infection and could potentially save many lives.

Commenting on the launch event, Dr Toby Jenkins, from the Department of Chemistry, who is involved in developing active wound dressings, said: “Burns treatment and rehabilitation requires a multi-disciplinary team, in the same way, research into burn treatment and prevention requires scientists, clinicians and engineers to come together. The Healing Foundation Children's Burns Research Centre is the first of its kind to do this, and has huge potential to improve the lives of children.”

The Centre will focus on two other areas of research, including psychological healing and rehabilitation for burns victims, led by the Centre for Appearance Research at UWE Bristol; and programmes to prevent burn and scald injuries to children, building on previous research collaborations between the University of Bristol and Cardiff University.

Dr Amber Young, lead consultant for the South West UK Children’s Burn Centre at Frenchay, added: “The support of the Healing Foundation is a huge accolade for the quality of burns care at Frenchay Hospital and of the research already being undertaken in Bristol and Bath.”

The Healing Foundation Centre for Children’s Burns Research will move to the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children in 2014 when paediatric services move from Frenchay Hospital.