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Joint Strategic Needs Assessment

Lead analyst:

The purpose of Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) is to provide the underpinning health information that is required for the effective commissioning of health services. The process of developing a JSNA involves key decision-makers in adult social care, children's services and public health. The result should be a needs assessment that encompasses health and social issues as well as the broader determinants of health.

The NHS White Paper: Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS is clear that JSNA is an important tool for commissioning. It is also clear that GP commissioners will need to engage locally with the JSNA process.

JSNAs will be used to inform Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategies which, in turn, will drive local commissioning decisions.

Latest additions, news and events

Fingertips is an interactive web tool designed and built by erpho to provide easy access to in-depth analysis of health and social care data. Indicators are displayed in interactive ‘tartan rugs’ or red-amber-green (RAG) charts, spine charts, funnel plots, bar charts and time series charts, enabling easy interpretation and comparison against a choice of benchmarks. Health and wellbeing indicators at your Fingertips!

APHO small area indicators for JSNA is a set of indicators at MSOA level for use by organisations carrying out joint strategic needs assessment. The indicators include population estimates, mortality, hospitalisation, lifestyle and socio-economic data.

Erpho, on behalf of the Public Health Observatories in England, has developed a JSNA Data Inventory, published on the website alongside the best practice guide: Joint Strategic Needs Assessment: a springboard for action.

Erpho runs two day Foundation Courses on using health intelligence in commissioning aimed at Commissioners and people working in Health Improvement in PCTs and local authorities. It is useful for those involved in using needs assessments. For more information and to register go to the Foundation Course page

Resources and tools
ERPHO resources


Presentation: Erpho's role in assisting JSNA - making information available to all

APHO resources

Resources giving advice on which indicators to choose, how to conduct analysis of them and interpret results correctly

JSNA - the APHO Resource Pack This contains sections on:

  • JSNA core dataset (contains the list of DH recommended potential indicators alongside links to the data source)
  • Statistical validity
  • Projection methods
  • Data sharing for JSNA
  • Measuring health inequalities

Place survey 2008/9 atlas

Data analysis tools

Technical Briefings

Other publications including The Good Indicators Guide

Indications Series

Data and analysis


Small Area Indicators for JSNA

Health Inequalities Gap Measurement Tool for England

DSRs 2005/06 to 2008/09

Top 10 diagnoses 2005/06 to 2008/09

Child Needs Assessment Toolkit

2010 Health Profiles

SWPHO instant atlas - JSNA mapping tool for UA and LA data

Data by LA/UA and small area level

Place survey 2008/9 atlas

Current JSNAs from the East of England









SWPHO support for JSNA webpage