The Teaching & Research Unit (TRU), located at Gosford Hospital on the Central Coast of New South Wales, is a collaboration between Central Coast Local Health District (CCLHD) and the University of Newcastle. The TRU provides an organisational framework within the CCLHD hospitals and community health facilities which manages medical students undertaking their clinical placements and promotes clinical research. The region is served by two acute hospital, Gosford and Wyong, two sub-acute facilities, ten community health care centres and other community-based services.
The TRU was established in its current location in 2001, and has been conducting research studies since 2005. While the TRU specialises in the clinical research of gastrointestinal disorders, many other multi-disciplinary health studies are now conducted here.
The TRU is a unique research environment of practicing physicians and university research academics who provide a dynamic approach to developing and/or directing innovative research studies.
The TRU has developed a solid reputation for conducting clinical trials on a local, regional and international level, providing multiple experiences in working with sponsored trials here in Australia and abroad.
Teaching & Research Unit team:
A/Prof Martin Veysey : Director of the Teaching and Research Unit, Clinical Dean of the Central Coast Clinical School of the Joint Medical Program and Gastroenterologist. Clinical and research interests include medical education, molecular nutrition, colorectal cancer and luminal gastrointestinal disease. www.newcastle.edu.au/profile/martin-veysey
• A/Prof Mark Lucock: is an Associate Professor of Human Molecular Nutrition in the School of Environmental and Life Sciences, Faculty of Science and Information Technology at the University of Newcastle. http://www.newcastle.edu.au/profile/mark-lucock
• Dr Katrina King: Research academic with the School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Newcastle. Trained as a research scientist in amino acid biochemistry and chronic illness and received her PhD in Biological Sciences in 1999. http://www.newcastle.edu.au/profile/katrina-king
• Dr Suzanne Niblett: Research Academic with the School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Newcastle. http://www.newcastle.edu.au/profile/suzanne-niblett
• Dr Lynn Francis: Clinical Epidemiologist and Biostatistician, Teaching and Research Unit School of Medicine and Public Health, Faculty of Health and Medicine, University of Newcastle. http://www.newcastle.edu.au/profile/lynn-francis
CCLHD Department of Gastroenterolgoy:
Dr Glenn Hawken: Director of Gastroenterology at CCLHD, staff specialist and conjoint lecturer at University of Newcastle. http://www.newcastle.edu.au/profile/glenn-hawken
• Dr Satbir Singh: Gastroenterologist and staff specialist at CCLHD
• Dr James Panetta: Gastroenterologist and staff specialist at CCLHD
Research staff at the TRU are dedicated to the care and wellbeing of all research participants by practicing within the principles of Good Clinical Practice (GCP). The diverse staff who maintain the care of participants and research procedures include:
• Research Trial Coordinator
• Research /Clinical Nurse
• Clinical Trial Pharmacist
• Supportive staff of Phlebotomists and laboratory specialists
• Administrative Officers
For study drug administration we have access to the Gosford Medical Day Unit and Wyong Ambulatory Care facilities.
A commitment to continuously improving quality research practices and procedures is implemented by the research team. TRU research procedures are underpinned by developing Standards of Practice, to ensure uniform and efficient processes.
The TRU collaborates with the Australian Gastrointestinal Research Alliance (AGIRA), and also with research institutes and major hospitals in the region, such as Hunter Medical Research Institute, the John Hunter Hospital and Princess Alexandra Hospital located in Brisbane, Queensland.
In one of our current studies the TRU has developed an opportunity to conduct research between local industry partners and multidisciplinary teams from several universities creating a valuable community-based collaboration.
Research Ethical Review:
The Human Research Ethical Committee (HREC) that regularly reviews research projects from the TRU is the Hunter New England HREC, who are a Lead HREC
The HREC meets on a regular basis at least every 6 weeks. The HREC holds at least 8 scheduled meetings in each year for the purpose of reviewing new applications.
They provide three types of review:
• Full HREC review
• Expedited review of low and negligible research
• Review of non-research activities that may result in external presentation/publication
CCLHD is committed to research and to its proper governance and conduct. As stated in the CCLHD Research Governance Framework for the Responsible Conduct of Research, CCLHD encourages, supports and coordinates research and innovation across the Central Coast Local Health District.
The CCLHD Research Governance Office (RGO) has developed, and is currently implementing, a specific Research Plan. CCLHD supports and provides ongoing training to all research personnel.
The average time-frame for a Site Specific Assessment (SSA) review is 10 days.
A number of pathways have been used by the TRU to recruit study participants:
• CCLHD Specialist Centre (Gosford Hospital)
• Outpatient Clinic (Wyong Hospital)
• Electoral role of local voting districts
• General Physicians and healthcare centres
The TRU comprises of administrative offices, conference rooms, data logger climate controlled pathology refrigerator (2˚C – +10˚C) and pathology freezer (-18˚C – 25˚C), healthcare equipment, and secure data storage units.
Our affiliation to CCLHD provides direct access to the specialist clinic, hospital pharmacy, medical day unit, ambulatory care, pathology department and endoscopy unit at both Gosford and Wyong hospitals.