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JSNA Navigator: Introduction

The Health and Social Care Act 2012 introduced duties and powers for health and wellbeing boards in relation to Joint Strategic Needs Assessments (JSNAs) and Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategies (JHWSs). The local authority director for children's services sits on the health and wellbeing board, and shares responsibility for the JSNA. While there is no longer a statutory requirement for areas to produce a children and young people's plan, the principle of a commitment to improve the lives of children, young people and families still applies.

JSNAs are local assessments of current and future health and social care needs that could be met by the local authority or the NHS. They contain a range of quantitative and qualitative evidence, and focus on specific groups and issues relevant to the local area. They are used as the basis for JHWSs, which set priorities and describe strategies for meeting the needs identified in the JSNA. Both documents are used to inform plans for commissioning services.

This JSNA Navigator is primarily designed for members of health and wellbeing boards, clinical commissioning groups and key staff in children's services in local councils. The tool points users towards key data and information which may be of use in building a picture of current and future needs and considering the factors that affect the health and wellbeing needs of children. It is not intended to be an exhaustive list but to act as a basis for a needs assessment. It can be adapted and enhanced with local data and contextual information.

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