Bass Coast Health joins six Victorian health services to debunk clinical trials myths


Regional and rural access to clinical trials has increased significantly over the last four years thanks to a pilot program called TrialHub. 

Bass Coast Health (BCH) is one of six Victorian regional, rural and outer metro health services currently participating in the program, which is supporting each health service with what they need to be able to open their own clinical trial unit. 

The program, based at Alfred Health, was established in 2020 with the goal of reducing the mental and financial burden on patients of having to travel to a metro centre for a clinical trial. 

The TrialHub program, which is funded by the Australian Government, leverages The Alfred Hospital’s clinical trial expertise to provide financial support as well as on-the-ground workforce upskilling and education, clinical trial operational and governance guidance, clinical trial awareness, and help with the identification of clinical trials suitable to each health service. 

Clinical trials can give patients early access to treatment that has been proven successful well before it’s available to the public. 

They can improve quality of life for a range of diseases, and help to find new and improved treatment. They are crucial to modern medicine and the healthcare system. They are run under strict protocols and participants must first pass eligibility criteria, after which they are closely monitored. 

BCH opened its first clinical trial in 2021. BCH Clinical Trials Governance Officer, Lyn Corrigan, said the future for clinical trials is exciting at BCH. 

“We are growing our team and capabilities to be able to open more trials, and new jobs have been created in clinical trials, which provides new career pathways for our workforce,” she said. 

“This means we can soon look forward to inviting our community to participate in more clinical trials. 

“Our long-term goal is to establish a clinical trials centre of excellence that delivers high quality research.”

Lyn also describes the TrialHub support over the last few years as invaluable. 

“The TrialHub mentorship has been instrumental as we grow our clinical trials workforce and implement governance processes to ensure the high quality and safety of the clinical trials that we conduct,” she said. 

“We now offer clinical trials locally and with the ongoing support of TrialHub, we look forward to expanding our program and continuing to improve clinical trial access and the patient experience for our regional community.” 

As part of International Clinical Trials Day on 20 May, BCH joined six other Victorian health services for a special video about clinical trials. Low awareness of clinicals trials is one of the biggest reasons people don’t participate in clinical trials. 

This year, seven health services working with TrialHub - Alfred Health, Bass Coast Health, Latrobe Regional Health, Mildura Base Public Hospital, Northern Health, Bendigo Health, and Peninsula Health - have come together to create a unique video to debunk clinical trials and to celebrate the progress that’s been made outside of metro Melbourne to increase access to clinical trials closer to home. 

To watch the video, and to learn about clinical trials at BCH, go to: