Making Every Contact Count
The promotion of health and wellbeing is at the core of our organisation's culture by treating the person and not the symptom.
Making Every Contact Count is about altering how we interact with people through learning how to recognise opportunities to talk to people about their wellbeing.
It aims to create an holistic environment where residents feel comfortable and able to address a number of issues other than that which they may have 'presented' with. It also encourages the professional to make connections and ask lateral questions, enabling them to signpost the resident to other services which may help with underlying or other related issues. Remembering that telling people what to do is not the most effective way to help them to change.
Ultimately it helps residents to make positive long-term behaviour change.
Having a good MECC conversation is about:
- Spotting opportunities to talk to people about their wellbeing
- Being able and confident to start a conversation about a wellbeing matter
- Being able and confident to deal with any issues that arise
- Quickly assessing the motivation a person has to take action to improve their wellbeing (e.g. taking a small step that will help them)
- Providing information that will help the person decide what they want to do
- Encouraging people to take actions to help themselves
- Signposting to relevant services when required
- Know about and apply key MECC messages
In order to do this it helps if you are confident and able to use brief advice. This means being able to:
- Understand the issues affecting wellbeing
- Know the key behavioural change theories and how to apply them
- Apply skills to engage clients in a good MECC conversation
- Give brief advice, encouraging self-care and signposting to higher level services
How MECC fits into NICE behaviour change guidance
For people to really be able to make a difference and Make Every Contact Count with the people they work with, they need to have the right knowledge and skills. This will help them to make the most of the opportunities and to empower individuals to make changes to their lifestyles.
MECC training comprises:
- Introduction to Making Every Contact Count: this session puts Making Every Contact Count (MECC) into context. It explains the background to MECC, its significance and introduces the idea that understanding however opportunistic, very brief interventions are core to MECC
- Introduction to Skills: this session covers how to start a healthy conversation with someone. This will include recognising which contacts are appropriate and exploring how to support people to make informed choices about their health and lifestyle
- Introduction to Lifestyle Topics: this session helps put Making Every Contact Count (MECC) into context. It aims to introduce you to key lifestyle messages recognising that public health is everyone’s business
- Information, Signposting and Your Organisation: this session illustrates how information sharing and signposting to others is an integral part of Making Every Contact Count. It shows that there are experts and professionals available for people to be signposted to for further discussions around health and lifestyle factors
You can access the e-learning package on the Making Every Contact Count website, where it is free for those working in the NHS and social care sector
- Public Health England contains the most recent documentation including consensus statement, implementation guide and evaluation framework
- Health Education West Midlands NHS useful site with a range of resources, ideas and case studies
- Yorkshire and Humber NHS with a number of resources including e-Learning tools