Thinking back, I realised that we’ve been working for almost four years now to collect the wealth of information on this ‘Joint Strategic Needs Assessment’ website. The work started with a new legal duty to co-operate between the NHS and local government, to assess needs for health and social care.
This co-operation has grown to include a range of groups with an understanding of local needs – on the acknowledgements page, you’ll see a list of 32 organisations, many of them from the local voluntary sector, which have contributed to the Cambridgeshire JSNA.
There has also been a lot of hard work by analysts to bring together statistics and evidence, to help us understand both the big picture issues and some of the detail of what influences health in Cambridgeshire.
We know from the JSNA that there are some major changes we need to plan for in the longer term. As one example, there will be a steady rise in the numbers of older people in all districts of Cambridgeshire (except Cambridge City), to at least 2021. A local survey has shown some of the chief concerns of older people to be income; access to transport; information about services and activities; and housing, including help in the home.
Most of us want to stay as healthy and independent as possible while we age, - and we need to think about how these concerns can be met at a time when public spending is limited. We also need to plan care services for the predicted increase in the number of dementia sufferers outlined in the JSNA,: from about 7000-14000 over the next twenty years.
This new website is a step change in the way that the information in the JSNA is being made accessible to the public – and I hope people will find it both interesting and thought provoking.
Dr Liz Robin
Director of Public Health