Austen is Director of the Self-Care Academic Research Unit (SCARU) & is Primary Care & Public Health Research Manager at Imperial College Department of Primary Care & Public Health. He is also supporting the WHO Collaborating Centre for Public Health Education and Training, NIHR Diagnostic Evidence Co-operative London, West London Research Network (WeLReN), Imperial Research Hub and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust (ICHT) Directorate of Public Health & Primary Care in the same capacity.
His principle aim is to widen access & participation research and evidence-based interventions to promote self-care capability in individuals and the sustained adoption of healthy lifestyles to support vitality in ageing.
Prior to assuming this role, he was based at Guy’s hospital where he worked in a similar capacity within the NIHR Clinical Research Network. His earlier career spanned a number of disparate fields including molecular & cell biology, vision research, laser-tissue interaction and medical device engineering.
Self Care Academic Research Unit (SCARU)
Austen was instrumental in establishing the Imperial College London Self-Care Academic Research Unit (SCARU) in collaboration with the Self Care Forum and the International Self Care Foundation. SCARU will explore how the application of self-care could result in improved outcomes and lower dependency on NHS resources in the contemporary setting, whilst also identifying key evidence-based recommendations for the consideration of commissioners of health and policy makers. The Unit will act as a hub with the aim of making the absolute case for self care by coordinating a wide portfolio of research activity in the following domains:
- Evidence synthesis to investigate various aspects of self-care & how this links to empowerment, health literacy & resilience in the community
- Evaluate self-care interventions, pilots, initiatives & existing services, including audits of local/national importance
- Work with industry sponsors & device manufacturers to support technology enabledself care approaches
- Support NHS & wider health economy by making the absolute case for self care; by understanding how it can benefit the wider health economy from the perspective of funding of outcomes as opposed to activities
- Establish & maintain a database / repository of evidence on self care
- Develop & champion self care in mental health theme
- Influence inter/national policy on self-care for patient benefit
- Self-care & Community Development
- eGovernance, Big Data, Digital Health & m/eHealth
- Integrated Care & service delivery and redesign
- Use of point of care testing in the primary care setting
- Innovation praxis & change management in the NHS
- The case for the emergence of the ‘enabling state’ to supplant the existing ‘welfare state’ ethos in the UK
Austen holds a Doctorate in Medicine from King’s College London, a Masters in Public Administration (MPA) form the London South Bank University, an MSc in Pathology & Virology from Imperial College London & a BSc in Molecular Biology & Genetics from Queen Mary University of London. He was recently awarded Chartered Manager (C.Mgr) status by the Chartered Management Institute & is PRINCE2 certified.
Austen is otherwise fascinated by bees, honey & apitherapy. Apparently, he continues to be inspired by Bach's reverential French Suites & Partitas, and considers Martha Argerich as the most formidable pianist alive today, with the veritable Andras Schiff in second place...
El-Osta A, 2019, The self-care matrix: a unifying framework for self-care, Self-care, Vol:10, ISSN:2042-7018, Pages:38-56
et al., 2019, Workplace health promotion using a digital health programme with monthly telecoaching to improve clinical and lifestyle-related outcomes., Future Healthcare Journal, Vol:6, ISSN:2055-3331, Pages:91-91
et al., 2018, Towards a strategic alignment of public health and primary care practices at local levels - the case of severe and enduring mental illness, London Journal of Primary Care, Vol:10, ISSN:1757-1472, Pages:19-23
et al., 2017, Does use of point of care testing improve cost effectiveness of the NHS Health Checks programme in the primary care setting? A cost minimisation analysis, Bmj Open, Vol:7, ISSN:2044-6055
et al., 2010, Increased Sequestration of Matrix Metalloproteinases in Ageing Human Bruch's Membrane: Implications for ECM Turnover, Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, Vol:51, ISSN:0146-0404, Pages:2664-2670