The Research

Why Focus on JSNAs

Public Health England states: ‘A JSNA data set provides powerful indicators to establish current and future health needs of your population. This in turn, supports better targeting of interventions to reduce health inequalities.’ (Health and Social Care Information Centre ‘Joint Strategic Needs Assessment’ (HSCIC [accessed 06/10/2014])

If the assessment, which sets out the priorities for funding and resources, has no gendered measures then it is likely that neither men nor women in the area are receiving effective health care. For example, one area could have a relatively low mortality rate for lung cancer but the majority of those deaths from lung cancer could be male.

If the data is not gendered, funding could go to initiatives that are not as effective in tackling the real health needs of men or women. Including gendered data benefits both men and women by identifying gaps in needs and provision for men and for women.

Health Topics Included in JSNAs

Research - The research analysed all available local authorities’ JSNAs by determining whether they have included local and gendered data. The categories of data used are ones for which we know local gender disaggregated data exists.

Section Summary - The conclusions which can be drawn from the JSNAs as a whole are:

  • There are issues which local authorities are ignoring altogether for men and women, mainly around use of services and mental illnesses. There are huge gaps in information on men’s health.
  • The average number of gendered measures included in the 147 JSNAs examined was 12. The total number of measures averaged 35 meaning that on average barely one-third of JSNA measures were gendered.

There are major gaps in terms of local authorities failing to include a particular topic as part of their JSNAs. Uptake of services is often left out of JSNAs for both genders. This means that many local authorities are unaware of how many men and women are registered with a GP or the general rates of accident and emergency attendance. This lack of knowledge will have implications when planning the appropriate service provision.

Diagnosis rates are rarely included as part of the JSNA, especially on mental health. Only 58 JSNAs included Improving Access to Psychological Treatment (IAPT) referral rates as a category at all. Of these, just four JSNAs had their IAPT referral rate as a gendered measure. Although suicide statistics are often gendered, other key mental health illnesses and diagnosis rates are not. 

The research reveals that many of the health topics included in the JSNAs contained no information on men’s health:

  • The local authority with the most gendered categories included was London Borough of Hillingdon with 29 gendered measures.
  • We looked at 54 different measures across all the JSNAs. Out of all 147 JSNAs examined, the best (Hillingdon) still only had 54% of those measures gendered.
  • Local authorities varied widely in terms of how many gendered measures they had included. The highest was 29 in the London Borough of Hillingdon. The lowest was two in Torbay.

There is a difference in performance across regions:

  • The best performing region was London. JSNAs in London boroughs included an average of 14.3 gendered measures.
  • The worst region was the South West with an average of nine. 

What can be concluded is that there are key areas which local authorities are not looking at both generally and by gender. Moreover, the findings reveal that within the health issues which local authorities are looking at, more often than not they are ignoring men’s health needs.

Average Number of Gendered Measures Per Region

North East 9.4
North West 13
Yorks & Humberside 13.6
East Midlands 11.1
West Midlands 11
East 12.4
London 14.3
South East 11.3
South West 9


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