Making Every Contact Count (MECC) is an approach to healthcare that encourages all those who have contact with the public to talk about their health and wellbeing. It encourages health and social care staff to use the opportunities arising during their routine interactions with patients to have brief conversations on how they might make positive improvements to their health or wellbeing.
All NHS organisations have a role to play in improving the health and wellbeing of our population and developing the workforce to be able to do this. We know that many long-term diseases affecting our population are closely linked to known behavioural risk factors - tobacco, hypertension, alcohol, being overweight or being physically inactive. Evidence suggests that adoption of the MECC approaches across health and care could potentially have a significant impact on the health of our population, and we have been working with Public Health England (PHE) and other system leaders to support people and their families to live healthier lifestyles.
Our work in this area includes working on a number of programmes aimed at improving the public health capability of all professional healthcare staff, such as working jointly with PHE to develop a suite of resources to support the implementation of MECC. These practical resources will support people and organisations when considering or reviewing MECC activity and will aid local implementation. The tools include an implementation guide, and a training quality marker checklist. They are for use by organisations that are:
• considering or reviewing MECC activity
• developing or commissioning new MECC training
• undertaking a review of existing MECC training resources
• developing and providing MECC training resources
Working with the national MECC advisory group, we also supported the inclusion of a requirement for staff to use every contact they have with patients to help them maintain and improve their health and wellbeing within NHS England’s NHS Standard Contract for healthcare providers.
Resources available on our website
Our newly updated Making Every Contact Count website provides all those with an interest or role in population health and prevention with a library of national and local resources that can be used to support the development, implementation and evaluation of MECC programmes across local communities.
The resources available include sample frameworks, case studies, signposting to useful e-learning materials and healthy lifestyle resources, amongst others. You can also find details of how to join a MECC Community of Practice and local and national contacts for this area of work. These resources have been gathered by Health Education England with the support of the National MECC Advisory Group and Public Health England. We encourage all those who engage with the public to access and use these resources, to help further spread the MECC approach across the country.
As part of this work, HEE held a national conference in January 2016 in partnership with PHE aimed at supporting those who commission, develop or deliver training in this area. The conference enabled delegates to explore and share best practice around the delivery of MECC and behaviour change education and training, discuss the launch of training resources, engage over the development of a professional MECC/behaviour change network and make their pledge to ‘Make Every Contact Count’. Summaries of some of the workshops and the presentations are available to access below.
At the conference, we asked senior leaders what MECC means to them and its role and importance across health and social care systems. Watch the films below to hear their responses:
Sir Stephen Moss - Non-Executive Director, Health Education England and Non-Executive Director, Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Shirley Cramer - Chief Executive, Royal Society of Public Health and Institute of Healthcare Management
Rachael Gosling, Consultant in Public Health, Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust
Ged Byrne, Director of Education and Quality - North, Health Education England
Mandy Harling, Population Health Service Manager, Healthcare Public Health team, Public Health England
Alison Farrah, Public Health Workforce Manager - North West, Health Education England
Public health prevention and promotion is a priority for the NHS. Developing the public health workforce and raising awareness of public health among the wider NHS and social care staff will help to transform public health and improve the health
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