A wide range of factors have an impact on people’s health and wellbeing. For example, people on the lowest incomes are likely to have worse health and die younger than those who are better off. Those on higher incomes are statistically less likely to adopt unhealthy habits, such as smoking and being inactive, and are less likely to be diagnosed with associated health conditions. People from black and minority ethnic (BME) communities tend to have poorer mental health and have more difficulty in accessing mental health care than the majority of the population. Those living in areas in and immediately around town centres are more likely to be affected by road accidents or poor air quality, affecting quality of life, respiratory health and willingness to travel actively (walk or cycle) which can protect health.
Reading’s Health and Wellbeing Board have a legal responsibility to assess how inequalities like those above affect the local population so that action can be taken to reduce their impact and improve health and wellbeing. This is called Joint Strategic Needs Assessment.
Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) and Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategies (JHWS) are joint responsibilities of Councils and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs – NHS bodies responsible for planning and commissioning health care services for their local areas) and are statutory requirements. Understanding local inequalities ensures that resources are allocated appropriately to support those with the greatest and most urgent needs.
JSNA provides key information for any stakeholder planning or delivering services in Reading, including transport, housing, care and health services, and forms the basis of information used by the Health and Wellbeing Board to agree the priorities in the Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy. It plays a vital role in enabling partners to make Reading a place where people can live, work and visit; ensuring local health and community services are delivered creatively, fairly and sustainably to build an environment that empowers people to live longer, healthier and happier lives.
if you need any further data about Reading and its population, please contact Reading Borough Council’s Public Health and Wellbeing Team.