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Needs Assessments and Strategies

Needs Assessment / Joint Strategic Needs Assessments (JSNA)

A Needs Assessment is defined 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 in health’. Breaking down the phrase into its constituent parts is useful in defining what it means in practice for more details view this definition

Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) Definition 

Needs Assessment undertaken to date

Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) on Drugs and Alcohol - April 2017 

Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) on Gambling – May 2019

A copy of the 2017 Health and Lifestyle Survey (Gambling) Report and Annex can be viewed within the Surveys menu at

Strategy development

Before a strategy is developed a Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) should be undertaken to identify the key priorities and steer the development of the Strategy.

A strategy is a high level strategic plan that sets out the overarching vision and aims that an organisation intends to achieve.  Strategy determines the direction and scope over the long-term and sets out a joint vision supported by evidence, outcomes and actions that will give a clear approach, builds on achievements, and addresses current and future challenges. 

Every strategy should have a robust, costed and accountable implementation plan – this plan is even more important than the strategy, as this is the process that turns the strategic plan into detailed actions that support the achievement of the aims, objectives and goals which drives the strategic plan from 'sitting on a shelf' to successful delivery.

Definition of a strategy  

  • Where are we now?
  • Where we want to be over the next 5-10 years?
  • How are we going to get there?

Current Strategies

Substance Misuse

2018-2023 Substance Misuse Strategy (Feb 2018)

Substance Misuse Steering Group Membership

As new strategies become available for other work streams within Public Health we will add relevant links and information to this page.

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