skip to main content skip to search skip to footer skip to accessibility statement

Blocks - pinkWhat is the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA)?

The JSNA is an assessment of the current and future health and social care needs of the local community; these are needs that could be met by the local authority, Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), or NHS England. The Department of Health (DoH) defines a needs assessment as ‘a systematic method for reviewing the health and wellbeing needs of a population, leading to agreed commissioning priorities that will improve health and wellbeing outcomes and reduce inequalities'. The DoH have also published statutory guidance on completing JSNAs and Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategies (JHWS).

JSNA positioned in centre of CCG, Local Authority and NHS England

Local authorities and clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) have equal and joint duties to prepare JSNAs and JHWS, through the local Health and Wellbeing Board. Local areas are free to undertake JSNAs in a way best suited to their local circumstances. There is no template or format that must be used and no mandatory data set to be included, although they must be fit for purpose. Ultimately, CCGs, NHS England and local authorities’ plans for commissioning services will be expected to be informed by the evidence contained within JSNAs and JHWS. The latest Southampton Health and Wellbeing Strategy (2017-2025) and Health and Wellbeing Strategy Dashboard can be downloaded below.

Southampton City Council - Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2017-2025
Health and Wellbeing Strategy Dashboard

The Southampton JSNA and Single Needs Assessment (SNA)

Over the last decade, the Southampton JSNA has been a comprehensive online resource that aims to identify the ‘big picture’ for health and wellbeing through analysis of a wide range of data sets and other sources of evidence. However, the JSNA is not the only statutory needs assessment in the city; the Community Safety Strategic Assessment and the Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment are also statutory duties for the Community Safety Partnership (CSP) and the Health and Wellbeing Board respectively. In addition, there has been an increasing demand for high quality data and intelligence on a range of other topics such as economic development and housing which, although are not statutory duties, consider important drivers (wider determinants) of health and wellbeing in the city.

In 2015, Southampton City Council and partners took the decision to combine these analyses into a more holistic Single Needs Assessment (SNA) for Southampton, rather than consider issues in isolation. This approach has been endorsed by both the Southampton Health and Wellbeing Board and the Southampton Safe City Partnership. The SNA is now hosted on this website, which is designed to be a ‘one stop shop’ for evidence and intelligence on need in the city.

How to use the Southampton Single Needs Assessment (SNA)

The Southampton Single Needs Assessment is structured by topic to help the user find the information they are looking for. Each topic contains a summary of the key needs as well as signposting to more in depth resources in the form of data compendiums, presentation slide sets, detailed needs assessments and external sources of information. To begin using the Southampton Single Needs Assessment, navigate to your chosen topic from the Southampton Data Observatory home page.

Maintaining the SNA continues to be a dynamic iterative process rather than a stand-alone product and is updated regularly as new data sets and analysis become available or new priorities identified. In this way, future policies, strategies, commissioning decisions and spending priorities can be based on the latest available data and evidence.

JSNA history and move towards a Southampton SNA

The Southampton JSNA and its evolution into a Single Needs Assessment (SNA) has happened over a number of years, informed by changing stakeholder needs and extensive consultation. A summary of this process is outlined below:

JSNA themes - improving economic wellbeing, improving mental health, early years, taking responsibility, long-term conditions, more years better lives, healthy environment, improving safeguarding, protecting people
  • The Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) Refresh Consultation 2010 was produced in July 2010 to identify the needs and consult with stakeholders.

  • Following a four month consultation period, a report of the consultation was produced at the end of 2010 based on responses from the public and stakeholder groups.

  • Nine key JSNA themes for a healthier population were identified underpinned by the consultation findings, a good understanding of Southampton’s changing population and the Marmot 2010 main policy recommendations in a ‘Fair Society, Healthy Lives’.

  • Development of an iterative online resource to host the JSNA; originally through the NHS Southampton PCT website and later the Southampton City Council Public Health Southampton website.

  • A stakeholder workshop was held in June 2012 to help drive forward and improve the JSNA process in Southampton. Dr Angela Donkin from the UCL Institute of Health Equity gave an opening presentation to set the context of the JSNA. There was good engagement and many useful suggestions made at the workshop, many of which were implemented including the establishment of quarterly strategic and analysts groups.

  • In 2013, public health responsibilities, including the development of the JSNA, moved to local government. At the same time, findings from an LGA Peer Review helped raise awareness and increase demand for public health style intelligence to drive evidence based decision making. This directly led to the creation of the Southampton City Council Strategy Unit in January 2015, followed by the Intelligence and Strategic Analysis team in October 2016, who took on responsibility for the JSNA and other statutory needs assessments in the city.

  • Increasing demand for public health style analysis in other areas, such as community safety, economic development, demand modelling and the need for intelligence driven policies and strategies across the council and partners, led to the incorporation of these into the existing JSNA framework and the move towards a Single Needs Assessment for Southampton. This approach was endorsed by the Southampton Health and Wellbeing Board and Southampton Safe City Partnership who are responsible for the statutory needs assessments in the city.

  • A JSNA workshop held in November 2017 identified the strengths and limitations with the current JSNA / SNA. Limitations included a lack of clear strategic direction and a need to simplify the format to make it less complicated for users to find what was needed. As a result a decision was taken to develop a new Southampton Data Observatory website to host a re-formatted SNA and to form a Strategic Analysis Steering Group (SASG) to help set the strategic direction and provide oversight on behalf of the Strategic Partnerships and other stakeholders.

 A presentation to the Health and Wellbeing Board on the findings of the November 2017 workshop, the creation of the SASG and the future direction of the SNA are available below.

Strategic Analysis Steering Group (SASG) and Southampton Single Needs Assessment (JSNA)
Slide set
pptx | 3MB | 01.06.18

JSNA and SNA governance

The Strategic Analysis Steering Group (SASG) was formed in 2018 to ensure that the Southampton Single Needs Assessment is fit for purpose, accurately reflects the needs of the local population and provides an evidence base on which key strategies and commissioning plans can be built. The group helps set the strategic direction of the SNA and other strategic analysis, identify priority knowledge gaps, and agree a clear work plan based on the needs of users and the priorities of Southampton City Council (SCC), Southampton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the Integrated Commissioning Unit (ICU), Southampton Voluntary Services (SVS) and other partners.

The SASG performs the following functions:

  • Set the strategic direction of the SNA and other strategic analysis to provide assurance to the Health and Wellbeing Board, SCC Management Team (CMT) and CCG Executive that the SNA (JSNA) process is robust, fit for purpose and fulfils the statutory function

  • Help direct finite analytical resource to make the most impact; ensuring the SNA work programme is informed by stakeholder priorities, the commissioning and strategy cycle and business need

  • Provides a forum to identify past, ongoing and planned needs assessment work within stakeholder organisations to inform and feed the SNA

  • Promote and champion evidence based decision making, ensuring that the Southampton Single Needs Assessment (SNA) is fully embedded in commissioning across all partners responsible for the health and wellbeing of the population

The SASG meets on a quarterly basis to review and agree the SNA work programme and includes representatives from:

  • SCC Public Health

  • SCC Intelligence and Strategic Analysis service

  • SCC Children’s and Families service

  • SCC Adult Social Care service

  • SCC Strategy, Planning and Partnerships service

  • NHS Southampton City CCG

  • Southampton Integrated Commissioning Unit (ICU)

  • Southampton Voluntary Services (SVS)

The SASG is accountable to the Health and Wellbeing Board for delivering the JSNA and the Safe City Partnership for the Strategic Assessment. Both partnerships receive annual updates on progress as well as regular performance monitoring on strategies as required. Any requests for SNA updates, needs assessments or strategic analysis from stakeholders should be raised with their relevant SASG representative. For further information on the SNA please contact the Intelligence and Strategic Analysis team at

The full terms of reference for the SASG is available below.

Strategic Analysis Steering Group (SASG) terms of reference
pdf | 456KB | 18.04.18

Last updated: 21 July 2022