What is the JSNA?

A Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) looks at the current and future health and care needs of local populations to inform and guide the planning and commissioning (buying) of health, well-being and social care services within a local authority area.


  • Is concerned with wider social factors that have an impact on people’s health and wellbeing, such as housing, poverty and employment.
  • Looks at the health of the population, with a focus on behaviours which affect health such as smoking, diet and exercise.
  • Provides a common view of health and care needs for the local community
  • Identifies health inequalities
  • Provides evidence of effectiveness for different health and care interventions
  • Documents current service provision
  • Identifies gaps in health and care services, documenting unmet needs

Who is the JSNA for?

The main audience for the JSNA are health and social care commissioners who use it to plan services.

It can also be used as an evidence base for preparing bids and business cases, by the voluntary and community sector to ensure that community needs and views are represented, by service providers to assist in the future development of their services, and by the public to scrutinise local health and wellbeing information, plans and commissioning recommendations.

What does the JSNA look like in Devon?

JSNAs are flexible and enable local areas to focus on the priorities and present information in the way most relevant to them. JSNA documents in Devon include:

  • The Devon Overview, which looks at the overall pattern of health and care needs in the county, including the impact of population change, deprivation and economic conditions.
  • The JSNA Headline Tool, providing a wide range of health and care information for geographic areas, including towns, local authorities, and GP practices.
  • The Devon Health and Wellbeing Outcomes Report, which monitors progress against the priorities identified in the Devon Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy.
  • Detailed Needs Assessments covering detailed information on specific topics.
  • Other outcomes reports and links to other related documents.

Who is involved in producing the JSNA in Devon?

Under the Health and Social Care Act 2012 local Health and Wellbeing Boards are responsible for producing the JSNA. Health and Wellbeing Boards will collaborate to understand their local community’s needs, agree priorities and encourage organisations involved in health and care to work in a more joined up way. During 2012/13, whilst local boards are being established they are known as shadow boards, and officially come into force from April 2013. Members of the Devon Health and Wellbeing Board include representatives from local authorities and the NHS in Devon, local councillors and other community representatives. The current membership list can be found here.

There is a development group overseeing and guiding the development of the JSNA, including representatives from the NHS, local authority and voluntary and community sector. There is also an analysts group which plans and coordinates information analysis for the JSNA, including representatives from the NHS, district and county councils, police, and other local services. These two groups help to ensure that a broad range of different organisations and communities are involved in the JSNA in Devon.

Health and Wellbeing Boards are also responsible for the production of the Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy, which is a strategy to address the needs identified in the JSNA, and set the health and wellbeing priorities of the board accordingly. The Devon Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy is available here.

Where do I go if I have any further questions?

Please visit the contact us page on the website and submit your question.