About the ON TRACK Network
The ON TRACK Network is a national clinical trials network (CTN).
Te Awhi RitoKi te whakaaro Māori, ko te harakeke he tohu nō te whānau. Ko te rito, te tamaiti. Ka karapotia te rito e ngā awhi rito (ngā mātua) hei whakamarumaru. Ko ngā rau o waho, ko ngā tūpuna It was important our Network has a title that reflects its culture of being inclusive of all New Zealand whānau. Te Awhi Rito comes from the flax bush concept commonly used in maternity and child health as a metaphor for whānau. The harakeke (flax) plant represents the family with the centre shoot being the child. It is surrounded by the awhi rito (the parents) as protection. The outside leaves represent the grandparents and ancestors.
- Excellence and innovation“Whaia te iti kahurangi”We endeavour to foster a culture of excellence within the ON TRACK Network. We are committed to upholding high standards for network functioning, facilitating and promoting high-quality clinical trials and using creative and innovative methods to achieve our objectives.
- Collaboration and cooperation"Naku te rourou, nau te rourou”We are a transdisciplinary national network that seeks to strengthen a collaborative research community within New Zealand maternal and perinatal healthcare. We seek to invest in this community; connecting and engaging members and empowering them toward achieving their personal and shared research goals. We recognise the influence of a collective in affecting change and seek to maximise our resources and work together to improve the health of mothers and babies in New Zealand.
- Respect“Awhi mai, awhi atu”The ON TRACK Network acknowledges and values the uniqueness of all people and celebrates diversity. We treat all members of the ON TRACK community with respect and welcome the unique knowledge, expertise, lived experience, values and beliefs each person brings to research and the network.
- New Zealand focus“Aronga Aotearoa”We are a New Zealand centred network, underpinned by the Treaty of Waitangi principles of Partnership, Protection and Participation. The ON TRACK Network will seek to promote equity and customise activity to the New Zealand context so all mothers and babies enjoy the same standard of health and healthcare in New Zealand.
- Inclusivity and support“He waka eke noa”The ON TRACK Network recognises and values the diversity between regions in New Zealand and endeavours to achieve equity in research opportunities through an inclusive and individualised partnership with all New Zealand DHBs; seeking to identify and support the interests and requirements of each site within the network.
- Sustainability and future investment“Hutia te rito te harakeke”The ON TRACK Network will invest in maternal and perinatal health research by establishing sound infrastructure and providing quality training and research opportunities for ON TRACK Network members. We are committed to making decisions that foster the ongoing existence of the ON TRACK Network to see knowledge and research endeavours advanced in the future.
- Accountability“I runga te tika, te pono”The ON TRACK Network is committed to upholding our responsibility to the mothers and babies, governing bodies, clinicians, researchers, consumers and the community we serve, to function in a way that promotes ethical behaviour and prioritises the wellbeing of all. We will operate safely, with integrity and using open and honest communication.
The ON TRACK Network was established in 2016 following a nationwide multidisciplinary feasibility study. It is currently funded by a University of Auckland Strategic Research Initiatives Fund five-year grant and is overseen by a National Executive Committee. This committee is representative of the disciplines within maternal and perinatal health and the geographical areas of New Zealand and includes consumer representation. To date, 18 of 20 District Health Boards are committed to the Network with nominated Site Network Leaders. All of the Network's activities are underpinned by three strategic pillars as outlined in the Network's current strategic plan.
- Identify priority research questions for New Zealanders in maternal and perinatal health.
- Facilitate the establishment and effective integration of multicentre clinical trials in maternal and perinatal health at all New Zealand sites.
- Facilitate the dissemination and timely implementation of research into clinical practice to raise the profile of evidence-based practice, increase the knowledge-base of local practitioners and enhance the quality of care received by women and babies nationwide.
Our activitiesWe perform the following core activities:
- Connect people to facilitate the design and set up of clinical trials recruiting mothers and babies across New Zealand hospitals and birthing units.
- Host annual Clinical Trial Development workshops to help transform trial ideas into clinical trial protocols suitable for funding applications.
- Encourage and support hospitals and birthing units that have never been involved with research to come on board with New Zealand clinical trials recruiting mothers and babies.
- Coordinate the Forum for Women & Whānau to help ensure that the activities and clinical trials supported by the ON TRACK Network remain highly relevant, focused and cohesive.
- Publish monthly newsletters for healthcare professionals and researchers nation-wide covering clinical trials news, publications, opportunities, update your practice pieces and guideline developments.
- Publish quarterly Forum for Women & Whānau newsletters to encourage consumer engagement with the Forum, Network activities and clinical trials research.
- Provide educational site visits across New Zealand to facilitate continual learning, for energising clinical trials research and updating best clinical practice across all hospitals and birthing units.
- Attend national and international conferences to promote New Zealand clinical trials research for better health of mothers and babies and to share learnings and enhance collaboration.
Our objectivesIn addition to core activities, each year we identify specific objectives to ensure we are meeting key performance indicators set out in our Network’s strategic plan. Objectives are set in consultation with our National Executive Committee and are agreed with the Steering Group.
Research Prioritisation Project To start the activity part of our national Research Prioritisation Project. This important New Zealand specific research priority setting project will bring together clinicians, researchers, healthcare providers, mothers and whānau, and other stakeholders to identify what research for New Zealand mothers and babies urgently needs doing to inform future clinical trials. One of the first steps is to identify what we do not know yet concerning the best care for New Zealand mothers and babies. These are called knowledge gaps which are gaps in our understanding that need to be filled by new research. Collection of knowledge gaps is now taking place across the country over a 3-month period.
Barriers & Enablers To prepare a project exploring the barriers and enablers to participation in clinical trials research by New Zealand hospitals and birthing units with the objective of being able to find solutions to enable all New Zealand sites to participate in clinical trials research.
Guideline Development Advocate in consultation with members of our Forum for Women & Whānau on policy and guideline development to ensure clinical trials research is being translated into clinical practice for consistently better outcomes for all mothers and babies across the entire country.