Living & Working Well

The background

The purpose of the Living and Working Well Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) section is to support the work of the Council’s Health and Wellbeing Board by summarising key local needs, and services, and providing a series of evidence-based priorities to improve the health of the local working age population (aged 20-64). It acts as a useful reference to inform high quality and co-ordinated local commissioning and provision of services shaped to the needs of their users, as well as to inform the wider council and members of the public.1

It sets out the key needs and issues of the local population, and makes a series of evidence-based recommendations to improve health and wellbeing, and to reduce inequalities. Bedford Borough’s overall score for deprivation (using the 2019 Index of Multiple Deprivation) relative to all other local authorities in England, puts it in the 4th least deprived decile. Where possible, Bedford Borough is compared to local authorities of similar deprivation (e.g. Derbyshire, Kent, Suffolk, and Reading).2

Finding the information you need

The dashboard features the health improvement indicators of health in adults, including those relating to smoking, drug and alcohol use, sexual health, and healthy weight; plus health protection factors, such as NHS Health Checks and wider determinants, including employment and deprivation. It will also detail the health outcomes relating to long-term health conditions including: CVD and stroke; respiratory illness; cancer, diabetes; as well as the impact of these on the over-arching health indicator of life expectancy.

Format: The dashboard is interactive Power BI report, which will enable you to interrogate and download data and charts specific to your needs.

Coming next

Detailed analysis

Over time, this section will build to include further analysis of the factors that impact on the health of working age people and details of the policies, services and actions developed to address them. It will include:

  • Wider determinants, which includes factors relating to: family, friends and communities, housing, transport, work and employment, money and resources, deprivation, the cost of living and climate change
  • Lifestyle, which examines health-related behaviours including: smoking, drugs and alcohol, healthy weight and physical activity
  • Health and well-being. This covers sexual health, oral health, workplace well-being, mental health and resilience and musculoskeletal condition
  • Long-term conditions, which includes: cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and respiratory disorders
  • Sensory and physical disabilities, which will examine the relationship between learning disabilities and other sensory and physical disabilities on key health indicators.
  • Health protection. This will cover the role, provision and take-up of health protection activities such as Health Checks and screening programmes.

Also look out for:

The impact of COVID
This includes both the direct impact of COVID on key health-related indicators, and the indirect impact on wider determinants. Please also see the 2023 Community Engagement & COVID-19 report covering the impact of the pandemic on health inequalities in Bedford Borough.

Areas of continued focus
These are high level objectives that have previously been identified as priorities and that remain important to delivering better health outcomes for the working age people of Bedford Borough.

Priority actions
These are more specific requirements that are needed to bring about the changes needed to improve health outcomes for Bedford Borough’s working age population.


  1. Department of Health. 2011. Joint strategic needs assessment and joint health and wellbeing strategies explained. Available at: [Accessed 11 December 2020].
  2. English Indices of Deprivation 2019. [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 December 2020].