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




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 & 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.

Measuring Loneliness in UK (INTERACT) Study

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Loneliness & social isolation can affect people of all ages and from all walks of life. The Measuring Loneliness (INTERACT) study aims to map loneliness at borough and city level to highlight the scale of the issue and help decision makers consider new ways to support individuals who are lonely, feeling socially isolated and who may be suffering in silence.

The study is the first of its kind and aims to collect data from thousands of community dwelling individuals aged 16 years or over to produce a visual snapshot of social isolation and loneliness across the capital, and other parts of the UK. Led by Imperial’s School of Public Health, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and Hammersmith & Fulham Council, the team will reach out to thousands of residents and encourage them to complete a brief online survey. Responses will help build a clearer picture of how loneliness affects people at borough and city level, and across regions.

Self-Driven Healthcare (SDH)

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Self-Driven Healthcare (SDH) is an umbrella term introduced by Innovate UK to conceptualise aspects of healthcare delivery that can support people in becoming more engaged in their own health and wellbeing management rather than being passive receivers of healthcare. The defining characteristics of SDH include activities that empower people to play a more effective role in maintaining their own health and wellbeing, including those activities concerned with primary prevention and health promotion (e.g. detecting diseases earlier and proactively collaborating with a growing range of HCPs to manage their illnesses).

Northwest London Research Trailblazers Group

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I am chair of the Northwest London Research Trailblazers Group (RTBG) initiative - whcih is an informal alliance of key stakehodlers in Northwest London. The aim of RTBG is to facilitate a forum where individuals with an interest in health & social care are supported to develop their research ideas with dedicated input from the Self-Care Academic Research Unit (SCARU).

An extensive RTBG roundtable was established in April 2019 & has since expanded significantly to include a wide mix of stakeholders (including directors of public health, Primary Care Networks, and GP Practice Federations, Local Authority leads, general practitioners,  voluntary organisations, Community Mental Health Trusts, Healthwatch & PPI leads).

The RTBG roundtable meets quarterly to discuss research ideas that members feel are relevant for the resident population of North West London. RTBG provides dedicated support to local stakeholders including protocol & study pack development to a level suitable for submission to Imperial College London and/or NHS Research Ethics Committee/HRA. Research proposals will ideally be developed with a view to apply for funding so that studies can be adopted onto the NIHR portfolio. Contact me on for more information or if you'd like to get involved.