Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineSchool of Public Health

Professor of Primary Care



+44 (0)20 7594 0839s.saxena Website




332Reynolds BuildingCharing Cross Campus





My research is focused on improving primary care and public health programmes for better child health and to reduce health inequalities. Case studies include:

  • My research showing over half of women are missing 6-8 week postnatal checks and surveys of poor experience of access to contraceptive and counselling services during COVID 19 led to recommendations in NICE guidance CG37, 2021
  • I led a national evaluation of a GP incentive scheme showing long-acting contraception led to falls in abortion (PLoS Med 2020); cited in All Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Contraception and Abortion 2020
  • I published a series of papers demonstrating the impact of preventive primary care on child health, cited in Quality Watch, Nuffield Trust Report, 2018, updates to BTS ‘Asthma and COVID 19’ guidance, 2020
  • As a GP lead for Imperial College COVID 19 Response team, I reported regional and national disruption to non-COVID 19 services e.g 90% falls in children’s urgent care use and 20% falls in routine vaccination. Our group has developed materials for regional and NHS England campaigns to increase uptake of routine and COVID 19 vaccines among those most at risk including non-English speakers and Black and minority ethnic groups 2020
  • As Director for Child health in NW London Applied Research Collaboration, I have led research to improve integrated care. An exemplar project found that matching GP consulting times to peak children’s A&E visits lowered urgent care use and avoidable hospital admissions regionally (NHS England case study) 2019
  • As the GP Lead on a Joint Royal Colleges Working Group, I co-authored 2 major reports that resulted in every GP being able to access a growth chart for monitoring children’s weight (‘Growth charts in GP IT systems’ Report; ‘Off the Scales Tacking England’s Child Obesity Crisis' Centre for Social Justice) 2018
  • I led a Programme Grant from The Daily Mile Foundation charity that produced the largest ever evaluation of ‘active mile’ interventions improving children’s physical activity and mental health in 18, 000 primary schools in England influencing the UK Child Obesity Plan, 2018 & Public Health England Reports, 2020
  • As a Global Burden of Disease Collaborator, I have co-authored 30+ papers impacting UK alcohol policy (safe drinking limits), The State of Child Health Report, 2018


Professor Sonia Saxena Professor David Taylor Robinson, Dr Pia Hardelid, Imperial College London, University of Liverpool & UCL (School for Public Health Research) Harnessing Data for Research, Children and Families Programme, 2019 - 2022

Professor Christine Norton, Kings College London, Fatigue urgency pain in IBD, 2018 - 2022

Professor Carolyn Summerbell, Professor of Public Health,/ Dep Dur (FUSE), Durham University (School for Public Health Research), Obesity, Sport and Exercise Sciences, 2018 - 2021

Dr Esther van Sluijs, Director of MRC Behavioural Science Centre/ Clinical Reader, University of Cambridge, Behavioural Epidemiology and Interventions in Young People, 2018 - 2021

Professor Irene Petersen, Professor of Medical Statistics, University College London/ Univ. Aarhus, Denmark, University College London, Routine data, postnatal health, Pop IBD group, 2015

Professor Richard Pollok,, St Georges University of London, Pop IBD Group- Population Inflammatory Bowel Disease Research, 2010

Prof Neena Modi, Medicines for Neonates Programme NIHR Programme Grant RP-PG-0707-10010, Dept of Neonatal Medicine, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Trust, Bronchiolitis, preterm birth; neonatal hospitalisation, 2009 - 2014

Prof Russell Viner,, Prof Tim Cole, Dr Sanjay Kinra, (PROMISE -Paediatric Research in Obesity Multi-modal Intervention and Service Evaluation; NIHR Programme Development Grant PG 0608-10035), University College London/ London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, 2008 - 2014

Prof Arch Mainous III, College of Public Health and Professions, University of Florida, Obesity; diabetes; racial disparities, 2002

Guest Lectures

Applying Data Science in Primary Care to Improve Child Health in Europe, Invited masterclass workshop, European Public Health Conference (Marseilles, Fr), 2019

Keynote Lecture: Harnessing Data to Improve Child Health, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health National Conference 2019, Birmingham Exhibition Centre, 2019

Why Research in General Practice Matters, Univ of Limerick Inaugural Lecture of Graduate Medical School GP Teachers Conference, Ireland, 2018

Next steps for tackling obesity in children in the UK, Royal College of GPs, London, 2015

Tackling obesity in the UK (Distinguished Scholar series), University of Florida, Florida USA, 2014

Child Health in UK primary care, University of Mauritius, Mauritius, 2007

Research Staff












Research Student Supervision

Arora,S, Covid impact on child health

Blackwell,J, Antidepressant medication in Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Jayasooriya,N, Adherence to medication in young people with inflammatory bowel disease

Ma,R, Impact of primary care on long term contraception and abortion

Skirrow,H, Late and missed routine vaccinations in children

Smith,H, Postnatal primary care

Sophie,P, Options for measuring movement related behaviours in preschool children

Venkatraman,T, Evaluating Impact and Equity of The Daily Mile