About us

The Victorian Adult Burns Service is a statewide service, caring for people throughout Victoria who have complex burns injuries.


Each year, over 5000 patients present to Emergency Departments throughout Victoria with burn injuries.

Burns range from the most minor and common of wounds, dealt with in the community, to the most severe and devastating of injuries. They are highly variable and individual injuries affecting all ages and social groups. In general terms, relevant assessment and management of the burnt patient is based on the size, depth and anatomical site of the injury, mechanism of injury and the presence of co-existing conditions.

The aim of these guidelines is to provide direction to health care professionals caring for adults or children with burn injuries in the primary care setting in Victoria. This includes emergency department staff, general practitioners, physicians, general surgeons, nurses and paramedics.

The guidelines include:

  • Transfer & referral criteria
  • Initial management of patients with severe burn injuries
  • Burns assessment
  • Management of patients with a minor burn injuries
  • First aid

The guidelines are a joint initiative between the Victorian state wide burns services at The Alfred and Royal Children’s

Hospital which aims to provide a more consistent standard of burns management, particularly in the early stages post injury, in order to improve outcomes for those who are injured. The guidelines are based on evidence where available and consensus expert opinion.


The Burns Unit at The Alfred provides the state-wide adult burns service to the people of Victoria. It was established in 1967 by Professor Jock Masterton as part of the Monash University Department of Surgery with the support of the Alfred Medical Committee.

The unit’s beginnings coincided with the dawn of the modern era of burn care. Jock initially and Associate Professor Heather Cleland (Director 2002-2024) with the Alfred ensured that the Victorian Adult Burns Service became and remained a leader in all aspects of care for burn injured patients.

Our key responsibilities of excellence in care delivery, research, quality improvement & prevention are supported by the Alfred Board and management, The Alfred Foundation, & an extensive array of staff in clinical & academic areas.

The Victorian Adult Burns Service has supported the state and its residents through disasters such as the Ash Wednesday Bushfires in 1983, Bali Bombings in 2002 and Black Saturday Bushfires in 2009 and most recently the Whakaari/White Island Volcano in 2019.

Find out more about key contributors to our service