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Joint Strategic Needs Assessment for Medway

Through the Health and Social Care Act the Government has established the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) as a fundamental part of the planning and commissioning cycle at a local level. Central to this vision is that decisions about services should be made as locally as possible, involving people who use them.

According to Department of Health guidance, it:

  • Identifies the big picture in terms of the health and wellbeing needs and inequalities of a local population
  • Describes a process that will identify the existing and future needs of the community
  • Maps services and the way they are used
  • Includes an analysis that will enable the prioritisation of services and therefore inform commissioning requirements

In Medway's JSNA we aim to provide a comprehensive picture of place based on evidence by describing "our people and place", "our health and wellbeing", "our community" and "our programmes and services", structured around core elements of the outcomes frameworks. The Summary section of the JSNA presents the big picture, while more detailed background papers and a data inventory can be found in other sections. The JSNA is a continuous process involving engagement and review and is updated quarterly. Medway’s JSNA can be found here www.medwayjsna.info

About Kent and Medway’s Mental Health JSNA

This mental health needs assessment describes the current and future needs of the population in terms of mental wellbeing and mental health services (other than dementia). It covers adults aged 18 years or more and describes the needs of Kent and Medway as a whole, with key messages for each Primary Care Trust (PCT) area. The following table summarises the questions asked and the key areas addressed to produce the needs assessment.

Key questions and issues covered in Kent and Medway Mental Health JSNA

Key question

Key areas to address

What are the size, structure and characteristics of the population?

  • The increase in size
  • The age structure
  • Deprivation
  • Diversity

What are the main determinants of mental health and wellbeing in Kent and Medway?

  • Poverty and low income
  • Housing
  • Employment
  • Social capital
  • Healthy lifestyles

Who are the people and what are the mental disorders in the population for which services should be commissioned?

Services should address:

  • suicide and self harm
  • high risk groups locally
  • serious mental illness and links with physical health
  • common mental disorders and links with physical health
  • potential unmet need

How far does the current investment of resources meet these needs?

  • Amount of investment in each area
  • Range of services commissioned
  • Balanced investment within the service system

How well are resources being used to meet needs?

  • Geographical distribution
  • Access
  • Acute pathways
  • Recovery services.


Full demographic and epidemiological information for Kent and Medway as a whole, including key messages for each PCT area, is set out in Part One of the Assessment.

The detailed facts and figures about current services, including key points for each PCT area, are set out in Part Two.

The analysis of the gaps (that is, between the mental health needs and the current services commissioned to meet those needs) and the implications for commissioners across Kent and Medway are set out in Part Three. (This analysis is also informed by working papers on national guidance and on service user needs.) The overview and way forward for Kent and Medway as a whole are also set out in this report, including the impact of mental illness and the background to the needs assessment in Kent and Medway.

Overview of JSNA documents

The relationship of the reports that make up the JSNA is illustrated in the diagram on the right.

They are available to download in pdf format. To use these files, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you do not have this on your computer, please use our advice page.


 Flow diagram for the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment