B10 – Advances in Research Governance and Ethics within Melbourne Healthcare Partners and NSW LHDs

This session will present the activities of ten partner organisations within Melbourne (seven hospitals, three medical research institutes and one university) working together to streamline and harmonise ethical and governance review of all multi-centre human health research. It will also look at how likeminded NSW Local Health District Research Managers working with NSW Office of Health and Medical Research are implementing operational improvements in research governance. Go to the ARCS website for full details of these topics.


Securing, sustaining and growing clinical research in Australia – a framework for research governance and ethics that really works and delivers: Research Excellence (REx)

A new initiative to streamline the governance and ethical review of human health research is a centrepiece of the collaborations which have culminated in the Melbourne Academic Centre for Health and the recently announced Melbourne Healthcare Partners Academic Health Research and Translation Centre. The REx is creating tangible improvements in how we manage clinical research within our group.  REx was created by bringing together the research-active hospitals and affiliated medical research institutes of The University of Melbourne. The State-based and National Mutual Acceptance programs for single ethical review of multi-centre clinical trials, which aim to reverse the decline in clinical trial activity in Australia over the past decade or so, have had some success but have also had an unintended consequence of a greatly expanded bureaucracy for ethics applications and the introduction of “governance” applications.  This additional bureaucracy has made the preparation of applications for human health research projects onerous for all stakeholders and the national urgency to do better in ethical and governance review continues. Working together with respect, trust and integrity, a sincere commitment to share and listen and a genuine preparedness to change for the better, REx has established a Steering Committee to look at what we need to do to get where we want to be both individually and as a group.  We have jointly funded and employed a Research Support Officer to allow us to actually do the work required to make our vision a reality.  This presentation will share learnings from experience and provide examples of core activities and special projects designed to deliver tangible improvements in how we do our research.


Working together can change the way we do things…..

An insight into how a group of likeminded NSW Local Health District Research Managers decided to get together and engage with the NSW Office of Health and Medical Research to identify, develop and implement research operational improvements. We first needed to identify what we did know and what we didn’t know.  From there it was about prioritising the additional effort required by all to ensure we reached an outcome. Together the Research Managers and their teams worked hard to learn from each other to improve the way they worked both internally and externally.  For one Local Health District, it completely changed the way they worked, the environment and perceptions by others and it delivered significantly improved site governance approval times. This has lead to other developments within the Northern Sydney Local Health District who are now working on implementing a clinical research development program.

Chairperson: Dr Angela Watt, Melbourne Health