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North east

The Making Every Contact Count (MECC) project aims to equip staff with the skills required to implement MECC and incorporate it into policies and procedures within their organisation.

The Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) funded a project that began in 2014 and ran for a one year period.  The project worked with City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust, South Tyneside Council and Darlington Borough Council.

In South Tyneside the project built on recent work to implement MECC across the organisation and was the winner of a Local Government Council (LGC) award.  Over 400 staff from the authority attended short training courses with the aim of embedding the principles of MECC in the day to day work of the council.  The evaluation identified barriers and facilitators to this and these findings are being used to inform the further development of MECC both in South Tyneside and in the other organisations. 

In Darlington, the project was within a defined community and also with three workforce groups identified as having a large amount of contact with the public.  The project at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead focussed on healthy ageing while Sunderland focussed on using MECC as part of pre-operative assessments.  Training at each organisation was delivered by Health Works Newcastle and Building Public Health Future. There has been no continuous funding to support MECC since this project concluded and further options are currently being discussed. However MECC is a key theme in the CWD plan.

Working with Public Health England (PHE)  an event was held in the north east on Friday 9 September to discuss MECC. This event provided the opportunity to engage and network with colleagues and share best practice. Using this knowledge we then discussed how to develop a system for the future of MECC in the north east.  This event also allowed us to investigate what national resources and tools are available. 

Public health workforce development

Our north east Public Health Subgroup is chaired by the PHE Centre Director.  PHE Deputy Director of Health and Wellbeing and Head of School of Public Health as vice chairs. 

There are four named Directors of Public Health, one who is a key member of the subgroup and the other three each chair the Specialty Training Committee (also covers all routes to registration); Practitioner Steering Group and MECC Steering Group. 

A North East Public Health Workforce Development Strategy was developed jointly between PHE, HEE and the Association of Directors of Public Health. The strategy has been developed into a series of themes incorporating workforce groups and domains of public health. The first year action plan has been approved and work is underway to progress the key areas.

Public health practitioner scheme

There is a North East UKPHR Practitioner Registration scheme which was launched in January 2014 and funded by Directors of Public Health and Public Health England. We have recently contributed £7000 towards the programme. The scheme is co-ordinated and run by the University of Sunderland. Participants wishing to join the scheme register with the co-ordinating centre. They are provided with information about the scheme and what is required in developing the portfolio and demonstrating the 47 competencies set out by UKPHR.  Participants in the scheme can access one to one support from the scheme co-ordinator and are invited to attend learning sets which are currently held bi-monthly and cover topics identified by scheme participants. 

Key Contacts