The Ramsay Way 2019 | 04 11
– Year of Activities
The Ramsay Hospital Research Foundation (RHRF)
has now been operational for three years and, in
that time, has established a reputation for funding
high quality research with the potential to improve
With the support of the Paul Ramsay Foundation, RHRF has
successfully funded a broad range of research projects that
align with the RHRF mission to provide better outcomes for
our patients, to investigate the diseases and illnesses which
affect them, and to progress the learning and development
of those who care for them.
RHRF has continued to provide funding support to the
Ramsay Clinical Trials Network over the past year and
has also awarded a number of Strategic Research Grants
in key focus areas of mental health, rehabilitation and
These grants serve to develop and support strategic
research projects alongside internal and external
investigators within Ramsay. Projects that have received
funding to date include the “CNS Dose” and “Text Me
The CNS Dose study was awarded $762,216 to use genetic
testing to assess multiple patient factors. The aim is to help
clinicians to select optimal first-time treatment options for
anti-depressant medication to give patients better results
and reduce the risks of adverse medical reactions.
The Text Me Well project received $834,255 to develop
a structured set of text messages to be sent out to recently
discharged mental health patients to facilitate optimal
Both of these projects aim to improve patient outcomes in
mental health, combining two key priority areas of all RHRF
funded research activities. They will be led by Professor Mal
Hopwood at Albert Road Clinic and will ultimately expand to
involve at least two other Ramsay facilities.
RHRF has committed $70,000 of funding per year for the
next three years to the Digital Health CRC. The Digital
Health CRC is a government, industry and academic
collaboration looking at how digital health can be actively
embedded in the health system.
As a result of this partnership, Ramsay has the opportunity
to participate in significant research projects that run across
RHRF CEO Nicola Ware said another RHRF-funded initiative
has been established involving PhD students.
“At RHRF, we know that where active PhD students are in
place within a hospital, it contributes dramatically to the
establishment of a research culture,” Ms Ware said.
“The Ramsay PhD program is designed to encourage
staff to become involved in research by undertaking a PhD.
All PhD topics are aligned to the RHRF areas of interest and
will support the development of other research projects at
“Ramsay PhD students have external supervisors at one
of the Group of Eight Universities, as well as internal
supervisors to help them navigate the details of projects
within Ramsay Health Care.”
To date, RHRF has funded PhDs which are examining the
most effective rehabilitation outcome measures to use and
whether educating staff about delirium in a more interactive
setting can improve patient outcomes.
– Strategic Planning
Ramsay Hospital Research Foundation will be
holding a strategic planning session in February
2020 to guide the operations of RHRF over the next
3 – 5 years.
The day will be facilitated by Melanie Gates, who heads up
the Project Management team within Ramsay Health Care.
RHRF have been actively seeking input from clinicians and
Ramsay Executives into the development of this strategic
plan and hopes to involve a variety of different stakeholder
groups in the day. In addition, RHRF will solicit formal
feedback from different groups over the coming months.
It is likely that the RHRF key focus areas of mental health,
rehabilitation, and health services will be subject to review
as part of this session.
If you have any suggestions or research ideas that you
think should be a part of the RHRF strategy, please contact
Nicola Ware (CEO, Ramsay Hospital Research Foundation)
$100,000 grants for Ramsay research projects
Ramsay Hospital Research Foundation has launched an exciting new scheme which allows Ramsay facilities
to apply for $100,000 grants to support research development at their sites.
The Enabling Research Grant Scheme provides hospitals an
opportunity to test research ideas on a small scale – typically
as pilot projects.
These pilot projects are used to gauge whether an idea is
likely to have merit and, if it does, it is usually expanded into
a larger project.
Successful applicants will be able to use the funding to:
• Employ staff to support the development and conduct
• Backfill positions to enable staff to dedicate some more
time to the development of research projects
• Provide staff with access to training to support the
development of research projects
Ramsay Hospital Research Foundation CEO, Nicola Ware, said:
“We hope this scheme will generate many pilot projects that
are suitable for expansion into larger, more ambitious projects
that may eventually involve multiple Ramsay facilities.”
“If this occurs, the hospital executive will be able to seek
additional funding from RHRF to support the expansion of the
research program,” Ms Ware said.
The grants program will also help Ramsay hospitals to
establish a research framework to generate research ideas
and to support and develop research in the future.
“I am really excited by this program and the potential
research that it will lead to in our hospitals,” Ms Ware said.
“I hope this initiative is something that will assist hospital
executives to develop new and innovative projects that may
lead to the improvement in patient outcomes in the future.”