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District becomes first LHD to join national advocacy body for clinical trials

International Clinical Trials Day

May 2020

District becomes first LHD to join national advocacy body for clinical trials

District becomes first LHD to join national advocacy body for clinical trials

Sydney Local Health District has become the first public LHD in the nation to be granted full membership to the Australian Clinical Trials Alliance (ACTA).

The ACTA is an advocacy body that represents clinical trial networks, coordinating centres and quality registries conducting investigator-initiated clinical trials across the country.

It connects clinical researchers, and those involved in running clinical trials, with governments, health care policymakers and consumers.

"At our District, research is everyone's business," Dr Teresa Anderson AM, the District's chief executive, said.

"Our researchers, clinicians, nurses, allied health staff, patients and consumers play a crucial role in our vision to be a world leader in high-quality research that rapidly translates to improvements in the health and wellbeing of our community," she said.

It is hoped the new partnership with the ACTA will contribute to bettering the effectiveness and efficiency of the District's clinical trials and to further foster evidence-based policies, services and health care.

The District will also now have the opportunity to advocate to advance issues that impact the conduct of clinical trials across the health care system.

The partnership is a key milestone, as the District marks International Clinical Trials Day held in recognition of Scottish surgeon James Lind, who's considered to have conducted the world's first randomised clinical trial.

On the 20 May 1747, Lind began a study to determine the cause of scurvy, which killed more than two million sailors between 1500 and 1800.

"Clinical trials have come a long way since Lind's time," Adjunct Associate Professor Vicki Taylor, the Executive Director of Sydney Research, said.

"So, on this day, we not only acknowledge the work of James Lind but also the major improvements that have come since," she said.

Today, there are 550 clinical trials underway in the District. The trials are being conducted in close to 70 departments, primarily in Haematology, Thoracic Medicine, Gastroenterology, Cardiology, Endocrinology and Cancer.

There are more than 200 staff leading the trials with numerous others involved in running them.

"Some of the District's staff are involved in early stage clinical trials related to the COVID-19 pandemic," Adjunct Associate Professor Taylor said.

"The pandemic has highlighted the importance of research and clinical trials in supporting our health care system and tackling COVID-19 across the globe.

"It's a pivotal time. And, being a member of the ACTA, is well-deserved recognition of the District's commitment to innovation in research and clinical practice.

"And, an acknowledgement of the commitment and enthusiasm of our staff to bringing the District's vision to fruition," she said.

To learn more about the District's partnership with the ACTA please click here.

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Page Last Updated: 27 May, 2020