What is MECC?

Making Every Contact Count (MECC) is an approach to behaviour change that supports staff to make the most of the everyday interactions that they have with people.

MECC encourages staff and volunteers who have contact with the public to use these opportunities to engage in brief conversations on how they might make positive changes to their health or wellbeing, such as looking after their mental wellbeing, stopping smoking, reducing alcohol consumption, eating more healthily and increasing physical activity.

How can I sign up for MECC training?

To book onto a training course visit the South Gloucestershire Council learning and development website.

Learning and development

What we are doing in South Gloucestershire?

MECC is a priority across the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire area and training is being delivered via a cascade model developed by NHS Health Education Wessex.[1]

In South Gloucestershire we have four MECC trainers who deliver MECC Champion training.  Each MECC Champion course runs for two hours and trainees can also complete a short e-learning package.

The training uses everyday situations and focuses on Open Discovery Questions, which begin with either ‘What’ or ‘How’. For example:

  • what is the main problem you are facing?
  • how could be it be resolved?
  • what do you need to access the help you require?

A MECC conversation may sometimes be simply about ‘planting a seed’ so that a person takes a small step towards thinking about change. However, where people would benefit from further support to make a change, they can be signposted towards relevant services and signposting information is provided to staff that attend the training.

MECC is open to staff in both health and non-health services. To date in South Gloucestershire we have trained a range of staff including social workers, library staff, health workers, Children’s Centre staff and housing teams.

Local NHS organisations are working on developing their own internal plans for MECC. The MECC approach can also extend to the wider determinants of health, such as debt management, housing and welfare rights. This is referred to as ‘MECC plus’.

What are the benefits of MECC training?[2]

  • staff report improvements in job satisfaction, increasing professional empathy, greater team bonding and a positive effect on organisational culture.
  • MECC supports people to take the first steps towards leading healthier lives – which has the potential to reduce demand on health and social care services over the medium to long-term.
  • MECC offers a different way of interacting with people which may help to bring up different issues and provide staff with different options for supporting people.

Where can I go for further information ?

Useful links

Please see the below links for information related to MECC:

MECC Training

For further information about South Gloucestershire’s MECC Champion training please contact healthylifestyles@southglos.gov.uk or call 01454 864005

References

[1] http://www.wessexphnetwork.org.uk/mecc.aspx

[2] Wessex Making Every Contact Count (MECC) pilot evaluation by the University of Southampton http://www.wessexphnetwork.org.uk/media/22802/Wessex-MECC-Evaluation-Report-Final-110615.pdf