Health Needs Assessment is defined as ‘the systematic method of identifying unmet health and health care needs of a population, and making changes to meet those unmet needs’ (Wright, Williams & Wilkinson, 1998). Recent Government policy has broadened the concept to describe a more broadly-based assessment of population needs which identifies current and future health and wellbeing needs in light of existing services, informing future service planning and taking into account evidence of effectiveness. JSNA therefore goes beyond health services, necessitating a collaborative approach to data collection, synthesis and analysis across whole populations.

An effective JSNA is one that is an indispensable reference for commissioners of healthcare, children’s services and adult’s services, and has taken account of the wealth of quantitative and qualitative data available in a local area. Its findings have been tested with those who work ‘on the ground’ in public sector and in community and voluntary sector services.

Style: This full day workshop introduces basic concepts of health needs assessment, using exercises and case studies to illustrate central themes.

This course is aimed at: Data analysts, public health practitioners, GPs and GP Commissioners, Acute Trust staff, Social Care staff, Education staff, Local Authority staff, Health Visitors, Midwives, School Nurses, Community Nurses, Police, Fire Services, Third Sector.

Learning Outcomes:
Greater awareness and understanding of:

  • How needs are perceived differently by different people
  • How we measure patterns of need
  • How we get the information that we need
  • Sources and different types of data
  • Translating need into equitable service provision
  • Assessing effectiveness
  • Thinking ‘outside the box’ to learn more about populations
  • Pitfalls in interpretation
  • JSNA in the commissioning cycle
  • Best practice in JSNA

For more information on this course and how the content can be adapted to suit the needs of your organisation, or you as an individual, please email


For more information about our work or if you would like to speak to a member of the PHAST Team contact us.

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