A Guide to Making Every Contact Count (MECC)

A new Making Every Contact Count E Learning programme has been designed, developed and uploaded to the E learning for health platform.

Make Every Contact Count (MECC) enables the delivery of consistent and concise health and wellbeing information and encourages individuals to engage in conversations about their health at scale across organisations and populations.

Developed in partnership with e-lfh, Healthy Dialogues, HEE, DH and Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust; the programme consists of four individual e-Learning sessions.

The fundamental idea underpinning the MECC approach is simple. It recognises that staff across health and care, local authority and voluntary sectors have thousands of contacts every day with individuals and are ideally placed to support health and wellbeing. MECC is intended for anyone who has contact with people to “Make Every Contact Count” and develop public health knowledge.

NEW for 2021: MECC – Current focus on Learning Difficulties and Autism

Through conversations both locally and nationally, it has been questioned how appropriate the materials and approaches used in the MECC e-learning and the face-to-face training are for learning disabilities teams to apply, and how accessible the MECC materials are to those communities with diagnosed learning disabilities and/or autism. As a result, in June 2021, a small working group with colleagues from Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS, Health Education England and Public Health England was formed to move this work forward.

The vision is to improve the health and wellbeing of people with learning disabilities and people with autism, and to reduce health inequalities.

The aim is to tailor the local and national MECC training and supporting materials as appropriate, to enable professionals and the wider public to have effective MECC conversations with people living with learning disabilities and people living with autism. Fundamental to this process is co-production alongside people with lived experience of LD and autism.

For more information, please contact phpn.northwest@hee.nhs.uk

What is MECC?

Making Every Contact Count (MECC) is an approach to behaviour change that uses the millions of day-to-day interactions that organisations and people have with other people to support them in making positive changes to their physical and mental health and wellbeing. MECC enables the opportunistic delivery of consistent and concise healthy lifestyle information and enables individuals to engage in conversations about their health at scale across organisations and populations. Drawing on behaviour change evidence, MECC maximises the opportunity within routine health and care interactions for a brief or very brief discussion on health or wellbeing factors to take place.

A MECC interaction takes a matter of minutes and is not intended to add to the busy workloads of health, care and the wider workforce staff, rather it is structured to fit into and complement existing professional clinical, care and social engagement approaches. Evidence suggests that the broad adoption of the MECC approach by people and organisations across health and care could potentially have a significant impact on the health of our population. (MECC Consensus Statement, April 2016.)

What has the network done to support MECC work here in the North West?

We have supported the development and delivery of new resources to support the implementation, quality assurance and evaluation of education and training associated with MECC with representation at the national MECC advisory group.

The network lead acts in an advisory capacity to MECC work programmes across the region.

Contributing to the MECC working groups in Cheshire & Merseyside and Lancashire & South Cumbria, securing additional national funding for locality MECC work and leading workshops in Greater Manchester with local authority MECC leads to explore opportunities for a shared approach.

For more information about the Cheshire & Merseyside MECC programme, click here or on the C&M MECC website MECC Moment.

For more information regarding the Lancashire & South Cumbria MECC work programme, click here.

For signposting to local services in L&SC, go to https://www.mecclink.co.uk/lancashire-and-south-cumbria/

Purpose of E-Learning MECC Resources
  • To provide a freely available and flexible approach to developing key skills, competence and confidence to deliver brief, opportunistic lifestyle advice as part of daily interventions with the public – where appropriate.
  • To support a consistent and quality assured approach to learning and skill development in this area – available to all levels of the workforce.
  • To provide opportunities for large scale workforce development approaches in this area.

The learning is specifically aimed at making sure that we all offer health chats in all contacts with patients, clients and members of the public. However, the skills required for effective health chats can be applied to the wider social determinants of health as well. Health chats can be used as a normal part of all our interactions at home, in the workplace and in the wider community.

If you work in the NHS, social care or local authority then you can access freely all the resources listed by clicking here.

At an individual level you can register for an E-Learning for Health account at: www.e-lfh.org.uk. If you register with an account at e-LfH your learning will be registered, and you will be able to access a wide range of health e learning resources.

More About How to Access MECC E-Learning Resources
  • The E-Learning for Health platform is available to health and social care staff with or without an NHS account.
  • Organisations – such as local authorities for example can integrate the MECC modules onto their own organisations learning management platform to monitor usage data. To integrate onto local LMS systems, click here.
Making Every Contact Count E Learning Resource

Aims and ambitions

Make Every Contact Count (MECC) enables the delivery of consistent and concise health and wellbeing information and encourages individuals to engage in conversations about their health at scale across organisations and populations.

The fundamental idea underpinning the MECC approach is simple. It recognises that staff across health and care, local authority and voluntary sectors have thousands of contacts every day with individuals and are ideally placed to support health and wellbeing.

MECC is intended for anyone who has contact with people to “Make Every Contact Count” and develop public health knowledge.

How learners will benefit from doing this course

The MECC e-learning programme is designed to support learners in developing an understanding of public health and the factors that impact on a person’s health and wellbeing. It focuses on how asking questions and listening effectively to people is a vital role for us all.

A MECC interaction takes a matter of minutes and is not intended to add to existing busy workloads, rather it is structured to fit into and complement existing engagement approaches.

Who it’s aimed at?

MECC is for everyone, it is not restricted to one person, profession or organisation.

For organisations, MECC means providing staff with the leadership, environment, training and information they need to deliver the MECC approach.
For staff, MECC means having the competence and confidence to deliver health and wellbeing messages, to help encourage people to change their behaviour and to direct them to local services that can support them.
For individuals, MECC means seeking support and taking action to improve their own health and wellbeing.

For more information, click here. 

How might the programmes be used?
  • As an introduction to basic behaviour change skills
  • To consolidate existing skills on behaviour change
  • As part of an organisation’s induction process, reflecting a commitment to promoting health and personal wellbeing
  • For personal professional development and to support an individual as a future MECC champion at home or in the workplace.
MECC Website

www.makingeverycontactcount.co.uk

This website provides resources and information to support people and organisations implementing MECC and has been developed with multi-agency input at local, regional and national level. The purpose of the site is to provide a free single point of information on a range of resources, case studies, policy guidance and associated national, regional and local approaches to MECC implementation and practice. Development of the site and its content would not have been possible without the combined efforts of many partner organisations who have all agreed to share their work and contribute to a joined up approach to Making Every Contact Count.

The website provides a useful starting point for any individual or organisation exploring MECC for the first time. The website is moderated by the HEE population health team. If you would like to share your work / contribute to the MECC website contact php@hee.nhs.uk