Imperial College London

Dr Austen El-Osta

Faculty of MedicineSchool of Public Health

Primary Care Research Manager



+44 (0)20 7594 7604a.el-osta Website




323Reynolds BuildingCharing Cross Campus





I am Director of the Self-Care Academic Research Unit (SCARU) & Primary Care Research Manager at the School of Public Health. I'm 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.

My principle aim is to widen access & participation in research and the widespread adoption and diffusion of evidence-based health & wellbeing interventions.

Prior to assuming this role, I was based at Guy’s hospital where I worked in a similar capacity within the NIHR Clinical Research Network. My earlier career spanned a number of disparate fields including molecular & cell biology, vision research, laser-tissue interaction & medical device engineering.

Self Care Academic Research Unit (SCARU)

SCARU is a tripartite collaboration between Imperial College School of Public Health, the Self-Care Forum & the International Self-Care Foundation where I am also Director & Trustee. SCARU will explore how the application of self-care could result in improved outcomes & 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 follwing domains:

  • Evidence synthesis to investigate various aspects of self-care & how this links to empowerment, health literacy & resilience in the community
  • Evaluation of self-care interventions, pilots, initiatives & existing services, including audits of local/national importance
  • Collaborative working with industry sponsors & device manufacturers to support technology enabled self-care approaches
  • Supporting the 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
  • Establishing & maintaining a database / repository of evidence on self care
  • Developing & championing a self-care in mental health theme
  • Influencing inter/national policy on self-care for people & patient benefit


A Whistlestop Tour of the NHS

Flattening the Curve with Self-Care

Vocational interests

  • Self-Care communities of pracrtice
  • Asset Based Community Development (ABCD)
  • Leveraging Community Assets to tackling Social Isolation & Loneliness
  • Lifestyle modification & behaviour change (easier siad than done!)
  • Use of point of care testing in the primary care & community settings
  • 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
  • Workplace Health Promotion

I hold 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. I was recently awarded Chartered Manager (C.Mgr) status by the Chartered Management Institute but failed miserably at becoming a certified PRINCE2 practitioner.

I'm otherwise fascinated by bees, honey & apitherapy. Apparently, I continue to be inspired by Bach's reverential French Suites & Partitas, and consider Martha Argerich as the most formidable pianist alive today, with the veritable Andras Schiff in second place...



Bakhet M, Ul-Haq Z, Kamalati T, et al., 2020, Blood tests in general practice: the use of routine data to characterise venous blood testing in North West London, 2016–2018, British Journal of General Practice, Vol:70, ISSN:0960-1643

El-Osta A, Webber D, Gnani S, et al., 2019, The Self-Care Matrix: a unifying framework for self-care, Self-care, Vol:10, ISSN:2042-7018, Pages:38-56

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