The numbers of residents of the four counties in the west of Anglia and Oxford Region (UK) who were treated for burns (including scalds) in accident and emergency (A&E) departments or admitted to hospital in 1994-95 were obtained from A&E departments and district health authority records. Burns comprised about 1 per cent of the workload in the A&E departments. Using the data from district health authorities, the rate of admission with a main diagnosis of burns to any hospital was 0.14 per thousand population per year. Children under five had the highest rate of admission. Approximately half the patients admitted to hospital with burns were admitted to burns units, a quarter to plastic surgery wards and the rest to different specialties including trauma and orthopaedics, paediatrics, and ophthalmology. The median length of stay was 6 days for burns units and 3 days for plastic surgery units.