- This is one of the supporting papers informing the work of the King's Fund London Commission. It identifies and catalogues needs assessment work undertaken by London's health authorities or relating to local health needs in London between 1993-96. It also examines the range of approaches to and methods of needs assessment, and examines the influence of needs assessment on policy and decision-making, in order to improve the effectiveness of future needs assessment activity. Needs assessment studies are analysed by topics addressed, methods used, definitions of health and need used, and policy recommendations made by these studies. Data from interviews with public health and commissioning managers is presented, and the influence needs assessment studies have had on key commissioning decisions is described. The report ends with the conclusions and recommendations of the authors.