Joint Strategic Needs Assessment resources for alcohol, drugs and tobacco

Sometimes I really struggle to know what my voice is here on the blog as I get pulled between personal anecdotal stuff and professionally driven information which I understand some of you may feel a bit dry.  I think I may be trying to be all things to all people and not doing a very good job, although After Party Magazine disagree having placed my endeavours in their 20 Best Recovery Blogs.

Here is one of those latter pieces of information which is vital to professionals but probably yawn inducing in you 🙂

joint-strategic-needs-assessment-2-728For those of you interested firstly we need to ascertain what a joint strategic needs assessment is and here’s a nifty definition from NHS Camden in London 🙂

As you can see although the subject may appear on the surface dull it is actually vital as it informs commissioning of services, be that NHS, private or third sector.

As part of their public health remit, local authorities are responsible for commissioning tobacco control, alcohol and drug interventions and services. This joint strategic needs assessment (JSNA) support pack – updated annually and in its fourth year – will help local areas to develop JSNAs and local joint health and wellbeing strategies, which effectively address public health issues relating to alcohol, drug and tobacco use. Last year’s JSNA support pack was reviewed by local authority stakeholders. Their comments have been used to develop this year’s support pack.

The pack covers four topics:
1. Alcohol harm prevention, treatment and recovery for adults
2. Drug prevention, treatment and recovery for adults
3. Tobacco control
4. Young people’s drug, alcohol and tobacco use.

For each of these topics, there are two documents:
1. A series of good practice evidence-based prompts to help local areas assess need, plan and commission effective services and interventions
2. Key data for each local area to help them commission effective prevention, treatment and recovery services and interventions.

The support pack documents can be downloaded here. The data packs here are examples without data. Local areas have been sent their tailored data packs. Copies of the alcohol, drug and young people’s data packs can also be downloaded from (report viewer) from the end of October 2015. Queries should be sent to Tobacco control data packs can be obtained by contacting your local PHE centre tobacco control lead or by emailing

Alcohol harm prevention, treatment and recovery for adults: JSNA support pack
Good practice prompts for planning comprehensive interventions in 2016-17
Key data for planning effective alcohol harm prevention, treatment and recovery in 2016-17

Young people’s alcohol, drug and tobacco use: JSNA support pack
Good practice prompts for planning comprehensive interventions in 2016-17
Key data for planning effective young people’s specialist substance misuse interventions in 2016-17

A slide pack with infographics illustrating the case for local investment in alcohol and drug prevention, treatment and recovery is also available. This has been updated for 2015 to reflect the latest data.
Alcohol and drugs prevention, treatment and recovery: why invest?

A comprehensive review of the content and approach of these resources is planned for 2016.

They’ve also published a new guide for drug and alcohol commissioners, providers and service users on service user involvement which is also a welcome initiative 🙂

Service user involvement in drug and alcohol treatment services

I’m happy to see that PHE are advising as their national role remains important although increasingly toothless.  To reflect that shift the second component for each topic is a bespoke data pack for every local authority to support needs assessment and commissioning so that it can go from national strategy to on the ground implementation.  Any thoughts?

Plus yesterday was the launch of the 2016 Global Drug Survey.  I’ll be contributing to it and you could too 🙂  Go here to find out more:

GDS2016 – The Biggest Drug Survey Ever – video

4 thoughts on “Joint Strategic Needs Assessment resources for alcohol, drugs and tobacco

  1. as do I! and/both rules 😉

    interesting insight into the role of PHE here… as I understand it from looking at the links, PHE have sent out data on hospital admissions due to alcohol to the local authority stakeholders who are responsible for commissioning alcohol (and other) services?

    which seems a good thing to do, on a nationwide basis. but as you say PHE seem to be toothless in ensuring whether those services are in fact (a) commissioned or (b) if they are commissioned, whether they are successful?

    having had a bit more of a look at this it would appear that previous/current government alcohol policy is laid out in the Public Health Outcomes Framework * and in the May 2015 Policy Paper on Harmful Drinking. **

    but I have been unable to find any recently published information on the outcomes of the Outcomes Framework…. there are a couple of Chief Medical Officer Annual Reports from 2011 and 2012*** available which give an interesting snapshot of the nation’s health. the latter was published in 2013…. I can find part 1 of the 2013 report online (re mental health) but not part 2, the general one?

    with love from another impenetrable-government-paper reader 😉 xxx

    * link here –

    ** link here –


    1. Recently published information Prim? *snorts with laughter* 😀 The drinks industry don’t want any recent outcomes published!! I’ve a couple of posts coming up – not written by me but by professional bodies that are absolutely scathing (and if you want an early sneak peek of one of the reports google Dead on Arrival as that’s the catchy title it’s been given and is a clear indicator of their view) 😉 xx

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