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International Clinical Trials Day 2021

District awarded highest rating in clinical trials accreditation process.

Four people standing outside on a lawn; socially distancing
SydneyConnect Image: Merela Ghazal, Genevieve Watt, Louise Ford and Professor Britton

Sydney Local Health District has been awarded the highest rating in a new national accreditation process for the conduct of clinical trials.

The National Clinical Trials Governance Framework has been developed by The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care.

Under the Framework, two National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards – Clinical Governance and Partnering with Consumers – now also apply to clinical trials services.

The Framework is being implemented to ensure clinical trials are high-quality, integrated, consumer-focused and undertaken in a safe environment.

“Our District was one of 14 health care institutions selected to pilot the new Framework and we have been awarded the highest rating – Established Systems,” Professor Warwick Britton AO, the District’s Director of Research, said.

RPA’s Institute of Haematology, AW Morrow Gastroenterology and Liver Centre, Chemical Pathology, Renal Medicine, Cardiovascular Surgery, SOuRCe and Pharmacy contributed to the pilot.

The pilot was overseen by Merela Ghazal, Genevieve Watt, Louise Ford (pictured with Professor Britton) and Akila Dharmendar from the District’s Research team.

“We’d also like to thank our research support staff for their hard work, time and effort,” Professor Britton said.

The District is exploring opportunities for further enhancement of its research capabilities based on the feedback from the pilot.

The announcement comes as the District marks International Clinical Trials Day.

In the 1700s, Scottish surgeon James Lind laid the foundation for modern day clinical trials when he conducted the first known controlled trial to assess the efficacy of various treatments for scurvy – a disease that was ravaging sailors.

Clinical trials have rapidly evolved since Lind’s time. They can range from simple trials designed and coordinated by a single investigator to highly complex trials involving multidisciplinary teams.

They play an integral role in delivering evidence-based, innovative care to meet the changing health care needs of our communities.  

There are more than 600 clinical trials underway in about 75 different units across the District including Haematology, Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Respiratory Medicine, Surgery, Neurology, Cancer and Cardiology.

The District is focused on further developing the involvement of patients and their families in the planning, design, delivery and evaluation of clinical trials.

“On this important day, it’s fitting to recognise the dedication and efforts of not only those who conduct clinical trials but also acknowledge the valuable contribution of patients and their families to clinical research,” Professor Britton said.