About Joint Strategic Needs Assessments

Joint Strategic Needs Assessments (JSNAs) are assessments of the current and future health and social care needs of local communities. These are needs that could be met by services commissioned (bought) by the local authority, CCGs, or by NHS England.

Health and Wellbeing Boards (H&WB) are responsible for overseeing the production of the JSNAs and local authorities and NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) have equal and joint duties to prepare them. Local areas are free to carry out JSNAs in a way best suited to their circumstances.

What does ‘Joint Strategic Needs Assessment’ mean?

Each term is described below:

  • Joint – means that the responsibility is shared by local authorities and the NHS with contributions from community and voluntary organisations.  
  • Strategic – means it identifies priorities that inform decisions and commissioning plans.
  • Needs – means identifying what the population requires to improve their overall health and wellbeing and to identify gaps in services. Mental health needs should receive equal priority to other health and social care needs.
  • Assessment – means a wide range of information is analysed and interpreted to understand the topic being considered. 

In overseeing the production of JSNAs, H&WBs will consider the following:

  • the population structure, including age, gender, and other relevant demographic details
  • the variety of needs of the population of interest, including how needs vary for specific groups (health inequalities) and current services
  • levels of deprivation
  • the personal assets (skills, experience, expertise) and resources of local communities
  • the wider social, environmental, and economic factors that influence health and wellbeing such as housing conditions, community safety, education, and employment opportunities

About our JSNA

In Plymouth the JSNA is not one single document. Our JSNA process involves the production of a series of profiles and reports. It explores a variety of topic areas in depth.

The closest thing we have to a single written JSNA is the ‘Plymouth Report’ which has a health and wellbeing chapter (‘Healthy Plymouth’) within it. The Plymouth Report provides an overview of a number of key issues which impact upon health and wellbeing in Plymouth, such as crime, education and employment.

 Plymouth Report 2019 [PDF, 7MB]

Who is our JSNA for?

The main audiences for our JSNA are health and social care commissioners who use it to plan services, and the public who can use it to scrutinise local health and wellbeing information, plans, and commissioning recommendations.

It can also be used by the voluntary and community sector, as an evidence base for preparing bids and business cases, and other service providers to assist in the future development of their services.

This site will be updated as new reports are produced. There are also a number of useful online resources available (please see external links).