To support emerging health and wellbeing boards, the Department has a published an explanation of the Joint Strategic Needs Assessments (JSNAs) and joint health and wellbeing strategies, ahead of statutory guidance which will follow in January 2012.
JSNAs will be the means by which local leaders work together to understand and agree the needs of all local people, with the joint health and wellbeing strategy setting the priorities for collective action. Taken together they will be the pillars of local decision-making, focusing leaders on the priorities for action and providing the evidence base for decisions about local services.
This publication is a call to action to the NHS, local government and emerging health and wellbeing boards. It makes the case for starting work now on two core responsibilities for future health and wellbeing boards: refreshing JSNAs and developing joint health and wellbeing strategies.
Liberating the NHS – Legislative framework and next steps; Healthy lives, healthy people and Capable communities and active citizens set out the Government’s ambition for an enhanced role for joint strategic needs assessments (JSNAs). This strengthened role of JSNAs and the new joint health and wellbeing strategies will enable local councillors, GPs and directors of public health, adult and children’s services to work with their communities in leading a more effective and responsive local health and care system. They will sit at the heart of local commissioning decisions, underpinning improved health, social care and public health outcomes for the whole community. They are a key to the success of health and wellbeing boards and individual commissioners in the future local health and care system.
In the document’s foreword, Care Services Minster, Paul Burstow says:
“This document aims to help health and wellbeing boards take positive action now, so individuals and communities feel the difference sooner rather than later. By agreeing a set of local priorities now, health and wellbeing boards can influence local commissioning plans for the future and grasp the opportunity to create local services shaped around the individuals who use them.”