The term can be broken down as follows:
Joint - carried out jointly by health and social care organisations to produce a joined up picture of people's needs and to help them work together to find solutions to those needs.
Strategic - identifies the 'big picture' of the health and wellbeing needs and inequalities within communities. It does not try to identify the needs of individual people.
Needs - sets out to find what people require to help their health and wellbeing needs and to identify where these requirements are not being met.
Assessment - facts and figures, together with people's knowledge, experience and opinions are used to find out what people's current and future needs are.
The joint strategic needs assessment brings together local authorities; the voluntary sector; service users; and NHS partners to research and agree a comprehensive local picture of health and wellbeing needs. By working jointly to identify needs, it also supports and encourages organisations to work together when developing services to meet those needs.