August 2017

Dear colleague



We are pleased to announce that the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) summary and qualitative report has been published at following approval from our Health and Wellbeing Board.

The summary gives an overview of the strategic health, wellbeing and social needs of Somerset people and this year has a focus on ageing well. The JSNA 2017 evidence will support the planning of services for older people and targeted preventative work to help younger people, where possible, maintain good physical and mental health into later life.

The majority of information and data assembled and analysed in the JSNA sits on the website at . A qualitative report complements the main summary with the experience of some Somerset residents, their views on ageing well and what gets in the way of being able to age well. It is an interesting report in its own right and I would encourage you to have a look at it.

Like many counties, we have a growing, ageing population, which should be celebrated and valued. One of the best ways to age well, from what people have told us, appears to be social contact - being with other people, socialising, having companionship, a sense of purpose and things to look forward to. This often doesn’t take a lot of resources but it does take commitment, goodwill and support to make it work successfully for everyone.

Health inequalities play a large part in how we age and some of our deprived areas show a very different picture in terms of life span and quality of life to residents in more affluent areas. We need to work to close this gap so that everyone has the same chance of a healthy and productive older age.

We hope you find this JSNA interesting and informative and as always, welcome feedback on its content.

Yours sincerely

Trudi Grant, MSc, PH, UKPHR, FFPH

Director of Public Health, Somerset County Council

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