Summary of 2009 Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA)
There has already been one complete cycle of producing a JSNA in Warwickshire. Work on this started in 2007 and was completed in April 2009. As this was the first attempt at a JSNA, there was certain degree of ‘finding our feet’ with the process and also the statutory requirements. The first round covered:
- Setting up the Warwickshire JSNA Steering Group – this Group contained a mix of strategic level group members and also practitioner/analyst group members.
- Agreement around the scope of the project, who would be involved, what the JSNA would cover in detail, and how to communicate the findings of the reports.
- For the first JSNA it was decided that it should take the form of two detailed reports. The first was a detailed Technical Statistical Report to set the context for health and well-being trends in Warwickshire, against a number of key client groups. This work was led and carried out by the Warwickshire Observatory.
- The second report was the Needs Assessment element of the JSNA. Given resource constraints that faced at the time, it was agreed that this element of the work would be led by consultants. The contract for this element of the work was awarded to Tribal Consulting. This element of the work was completed in Spring 2009.
- Engagement and consultation. Whilst the report was drawn from a range of sources, it was necessary to ensure that consultation around the work was carried out within a specified time period. To enable this to happen a workshop session was convened for key stakeholders to consider the findings from the report. The session was led by one of the senior managers from Tribal, and discussion groups were then set up to explore the key findings from the report in more detail.
Feedback on previous JSNA
The approach adopted for the first JSNA provided a degree of learning:
- Foundation Report – whilst this was seen to be a very helpful and comprehensive source of data and statistics, it was a very unwieldy document to keep up to date. There were issues with data being submitted late to the report, waiting for the latest release of some dataset or other to be released, or the other extreme where there were significant data gaps where it was not obvious how these could be filled.
- Needs Assessment – whilst this was very thorough in its approach, it was trying to cover too much ground at once, and couldn’t address the level of detail that commissioners would require to help them in their decision making processes. This is a balance that needs to be addressed with future JSNA’s.
- The engagement and consultation element in the first JSNA provided useful feedback on both the content, degree of analysis, and in particular where there were gaps in the analysis. There is a need to ensure that the gaps become filled over time, as a wider range of specialists and experts become involved with the work, and start to make data and analysis available.
The second key area of feedback has come from some focus group work carried out with members of the public. Working through the Adults Health & Community Services Directorate, a group of people was convened from different backgrounds to provide a critique of the JSNA. Overall, they recognised the complexity of the agenda that the JSNA was trying to cover. However, they were able to provide very constructive suggestions for issues to include in the document in the future, and ideas around presentational issues to help target the JSNA at a wider audience.