We are a leading player in the development of research entities and groups through our partnerships with foundations, research institutes, universities, health services and government.
Our partnerships with sponsors, contract research organisations and collaborators is crucial to bringing clinical trials of promising new drugs and devices to the Royal Melbourne Hospital. We remain committed to strengthening these relationships.
The success of our trials has led to improvements in health practice and policy at the RMH and elsewhere.
Our specialist services
As a major tertiary hospital, the RMH is fortunate to have the support of a range of services. This ensures the effective management and coordination of clinical trials.
We offer more than 130 services and 340 specialist clinics for patients across the RMH.
Our Clinical Trials Centre
The Royal Melbourne Hospital opened its Clinical Trials Centre (CTC) to patients in June 2017. The CTC was formally opened by the Victorian Health Minister, Hon. Jill Hennessy.
With only a small number of dedicated clinical trial centres throughout Australia, this was a significant milestone for the RMH.
The CTC caters for clinical trials across almost all therapeutic disciplines, excluding cancer clinical trials. Cancer clinical trials are primarily undertaken at the Parkville Cancer Clinical Trials Unit located across from the RMH Parkville in the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre.
The CTC has:
- Eight treatment bays
- Three procedure rooms
- Two clinician consulting rooms
- A comfortable and contemporary waiting room area for trial patients and their family members
- A sophisticated pathology preparation room (including two centrifuges, biohazard cabinet, refrigerator, two freezers and specimen chute)
There is a large workstation area within the CTC with a satellite desk assigned to each of the major research departments. There is also a Monitors Room directly across the hallway from the CTC to ensure that clinical research associates from our industry partners are properly accommodated.
In December 2017, the RMH Clinical Trials Pharmacy was relocated to be adjacent to the CTC. This has helped to ensure a fully integrated approach and increased cohesion in the management of our trials.
Our large recruitment pool
The RMH is one of Victoria's leading public healthcare services, serving more than one million Melburnians as well as regional and rural Victorians and interstate patients.
- 92,662 people discharged from the RMH in 2015–16
- 178,061 specialist clinic appointments in 2015–16
- 68,523 people presented to the RMH Emergency Department in 2015–16
- The RMH is the only accredited level one Trauma Centre in Victoria – benchmarked against major trauma centres around the world
- The RMH provides the fastest emergency stroke treatment in Australia – door to needle time treatment in 25 minutes
- More than 800 staff involved in clinical research across all disciplines
- More than 200 new human research studies approved each year
- Around 1500 active human research studies underway, of which more than 300 are clinical trials
Our clinical trial facilitation service
The RMH seeks to forge strategic alliances with study sponsors, CROs and collaborators to achieve successful outcomes for all parties, particularly with respect to start-up timelines and participant enrolment.
The Clinical Trial Facilitation Service at the RMH Office for Research helps researchers, sponsors, and contract research organisations (CROs) start clinical trials more efficiently.
The team offers support throughout the process, from executing confidentiality agreements and triaging feasibility review, to overseeing ethics applications and negotiating study budgets and contracts.
Online clinical trials and research studies listings
The Office for Research also manages our clinical trials and research studies, which is an HREC-approved listing of research studies and clinical trials throughout the hospital.
This page is aimed at the general public, specifically potential clinical trial patients and their loved ones who are searching online for treatment options. For this reason, the clinical trial listing is presented in clear and lay terms. Each listing has enough information to help guide whether eligibility is likely, but not so much information as to overwhelm the reader.
The RMH team is proactive and progressive in maximising trial enrolment, so each trial listed also has phone and/or email contact details to allow interested people to reach out to learn more about the trial.
Contact the Clinical Research Operations Manager to discuss clinical trial opportunities.
Our ethics and governance
The RMH Office for Research has a strong track record for developing and implementing streamlining initiatives that make our ethics and governance submission processes faster and more efficient.
We understand how important site activation and first-patient-in timelines are for our industry partners, so we are committed to achieving “best in class” metrics.
As part of our strategy to support clinical trial activities, the RMH has partnered with 11 Victorian organisations to lead and coordinate the streamlining of ethical and governance reviews of human health research projects. This means that ethics and governance submissions will see faster approval times.
The RMH was also proudly a member of the NHMRC Good Practice Process (GPP), alongside 15 other health organisations nationwide, which aimed to achieve quicker and more efficient research governance authorisation.
By participating in the GPP, we were able to speed up our timelines by compressing our metrics across the start-up spectrum, from the first approach to discuss a new study through to enrolling the first patient.
We have implemented many of our learnings from the GPP into our regular practices, and we continue to use this approach to speed up the progress of new studies.
Our research participation record system
Developed by the Office for Research, this research performance initiative aims to improve the safety of patients and to measure the performance of research projects undertaken by the RMH staff.
This initiative ensures that every patient’s involvement in a research project is centrally and electronically recorded. This way a patient’s participation in a research project will be automatically flagged to any staff member who may be involved in their care (such as if the patient presents to Emergency Department).
In addition, this initiative allows the RMH to report on the number of patients involved in research and assess how we actually perform against proposed recruitment targets set in the planning stages of a research project.