Primary Care Research


CESPHN’s research team is committed to assisting local researchers to conduct high quality, ethical primary care research. 

Our aim is to involve GPs, practices nurses, allied health and other relevant staff from inception through to publication. Through this process our knowledge-rich local primary health care workforce can better shape and be connected to the research being conducted in our region, as well as drive areas for quality improvement. 

CESPHN accepts research requests from: 

  • External research proposal’s seeking endorsement or promotion to stakeholders (for example, to recruit participants) 
  • External research proposal’s seeking participation in developing the proposal and/or carrying out elements of a research project. 

For all research requests please complete the form from the link below, and a research officer will be in touch. 

Research Request Form

For all additional information, please email:



Secondary use POLAR data for Research 

CESPHN has data sharing agreements with General Practices, which may include agreement for the secondary use of de-identified data to support primary care research (which has received ethics approval). 

This data is separate to the eligible data set that is submitted for the QI PIP.

A core aim of CESPHN is to support research in primary care and CESPHN may receive research proposals seeking the secondary use of data collected by CESPHN.  This data may include but is not limited to data obtained via clinical data extraction tools, i.e. Pen Clinical Audit tool (CAT) and Outcomes Health’s POpulation Level Analysis & Reporting (POLAR) tools. 

Outcome Health has received approval under RACGP National Research and Evaluation Ethics Committee (NREEC) Application number 17-008 for a GP data warehouse (of which they are the custodians) and additionally each research project using this data will also be required to obtain ethics approval from an approved ethics committee.

Outcome Health (as data custodians), will seek approval from CESPHN (as data owners) to share the data sets (de-identified at patient and practice level) with researchers and additionally CESPHN will publish all projects below.

Currently CESPHN has granted approval for;

  • The Doherty Institute to use the POLAR data set for a project titled; ‘A partnership approach to preventing liver cancer: tackling viral hepatitis in primary care.’ The lead investigator is Professor Benjamin Cowie, Director, WHO Collaborating Centre for Viral Hepatitis, Doherty Institute. Professor Cowie can be contacted via Amelia Savage, Research Project Manager, HEPLOGIC on

           Melbourne Health as approved ethics of the data analysis phase of the study (Ref no. QA2019.074). 

           Practices who had up to date data sharing agreeements as of 22nd October 2019 will be included in the data set. 

        Past requests; 

  • None

If your practice has signed POLAR Data Warehouse Sharing & Licencing Terms and Conditions agreement, your de-identified data set may contribute to the projects above. 

If you are unsure, CESPHN can provide the copy of the signed agreement upon request.  

Practices who have signed this agreement are (as per the RACGP Ethics Approval) expected to display the A3 version of the poster below and provide brochures in the practice waiting room letting patients know the practice participates in secondary use of deidentified data. 

CESPHN can provide the approved poster and brochures upon request.  

If you would like further information on how to opt people out of being included (de-identified) in the POLAR data set, or further information about the listed projects, please contact

For more information about how CESPHN handles personal information, please refer CESPHN’s Privacy Policy.


Did you know?

ClinTrial Refer connects GP’s to current clinical trials. For More information go to