18 July 2019

A selection of New South Wales’ finest researchers will share in almost $6 million to help fight hospital acquired infections, improve Aboriginal and elderly health, and provide more efficient patient care.

Since 2016, the NSW Government has funded 62 translational research projects, with $21.95 million invested over four years (2015/16 – 2019/20).

Minister for Health and Medical Research Brad Hazzard today announced the successful recipients of the Translational Research Grants Scheme for 2019.

“This investment demonstrates NSW’s leadership in conducting priority-driven research that directly translates into improved service delivery, better patient outcomes and improvements in the health and wellbeing of the people of NSW,” Mr Hazzard said.

“We identified nine research projects for funding. Of these, it was fantastic to see five grants awarded to projects being undertaken in regional NSW including Hunter New England, Illawarra Shoalhaven and Western NSW local health districts.”

Dr Shannon Nott from Western NSW Local Health District will evaluate the efficacy of a virtual clinical pharmacy service where there is limited access to clinical pharmacists in health facilities located in smaller towns.

Unsafe medication practices and errors are a leading cause of injury and avoidable harm in healthcare systems across the world. Employing clinical pharmacists in hospitals has been found to reduce these rates. This project aims to offer a solution to improve the delivery of safe and high-quality healthcare regardless of where a patient is admitted.

A/Prof Nadine Ezard from St Vincent’s Hospital Network will investigate the delivery of specialist drug and alcohol medical services, through a mixture of telehealth and fly-in-fly-out care, for people in rural and remote area where there can be limited access to specialists.

The project will have a clear focus on practitioner-to-practitioner engagement, local capacity building, clinical supervision and case management, and allow local health professionals to develop skills in more complex case management while maintaining the relationships built within their communities.

If effective, it could be scaled to cover the whole of NSW, providing support and supervision to alcohol and drug professionals in regional, rural, remote and Aboriginal communities, improving health outcomes for some of Australia’s most vulnerable citizens.

NSW Health Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said this funding round for the grants was the most competitive yet. “I am confident the research funded will directly translate into policy and practice, which will lead to improved health outcomes for the NSW population.” Dr Chant said.

The Translational Research Grants Scheme was established as part of the Health Services Research Support Program to support research that is conducted in the health system and is directly translatable into policy and practice.

Other researchers awarded grants include:

  • Dr Michelle Barakat-Johnson and Professor Fiona Coyer, Sydney Local Health District
  • Dr Adrian Dunlop, Hunter New England Local Health District
  • Professor Michelle Giles and Carla Sunner, Hunter New England Local Health District
  • Dr Rowena McMullan and Dr Adrienne Gordon, Sydney Local Health District
  • Associate Professor Arthur Richardson, Western Sydney Local Health District
  • Associate Professor Kamal Sud, Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District
  • Professor Val Wilson, Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District.

Further information on all recipients’ and their research projects is available at www.medicalresearch.nsw.gov.au/research-directory/