It’s fun to go to the J-S-N-A!

Essex County Council, in collaboration with health partners, has a duty to undertake an assessment of the current and future health and wellbeing needs of the county’s communities on a regular basis. This process is referred to as the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment, or JSNA.

For the first time the JSNA is available in the form of interactive dashboards on the Open Data platform, allowing users to investigate the data in the reports, and pull out the insights of most interest to them.

The JSNA summarises information from several different data sources, covering topics such as:

  • Health outcomes of the local population (including mental health), for example length and quality of life
  • Health behaviours, such as diet, exercise, smoking and alcohol consumption
  • Communities’ access to care and the quality of life
  • Wider social and economic factors, such as income and education, that affect our mental and physical health
  • Insights into the local physical environment that impact on our health.

You can explore the JSNA for yourself by clicking here! The JSNA itself is an ongoing, iterative process presented as a suite of resources, interactive reports, briefings, downloadable reports and datasets, that will be updated regularly as new analysis and insight becomes available. By designing the JSNA in this way we hope that it will be a ‘live’ resource for organisations, and residents, across Essex.

An image showing the layout of our dashboards.

The JSNA is primarily created for health and social care commissioners who use the information to plan vital services for Essex residents. However, the JSNA contains a wealth of information that is useful for many people and for different purposes!

As an analyst by trade, I find the JSNA incredibly useful as a source to get accurate, up-to-date information on a range of public health matters and related research. The dashboards allow me to drill-down the findings into more granular areas of interest, and the reports are a useful resource to signpost internal and external colleagues to.

The rest of the Open Data portal is also a rich source of information which, like the JSNA, can be used as an evidence base for local authorities, partners, voluntary and community groups to prepare bids and business cases. This evidence helps to ensure that our services are designed with the needs and views of the local population in mind.

Publishing this information also allows us to be transparent with the information we use to make decisions about the services we commission. Open Data plays a significant role in allowing the public to hold Essex County Council accountable for the decisions we take as an organisation, and this starts by making information publicly available.

The Essex Open Data platform is the ‘one stop shop’ for any information you need about Essex, whether that’s insight into the needs of our communities, or whether you’re looking for information on Essex County Council and its services. We’re proud to be taking an innovative approach to our latest JSNA and encourage you all to take a look at, and feedback on, all the valuable resources available on our Open Data platform.

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