Making Every Contact Count
Table of Contents
Upcoming training sessions
Dates are currently being finalised for upcoming training courses, please check back on this page for details.
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 using Open Conversation Skills.
MECC encourages staff and volunteers who have contact with the public to use these opportunities and skills to engage in brief conversations on how they might make positive changes to their health or wellbeing and what it will look like for them when that change is made. The change could be in a health-related sector like stopping smoking or reducing their stress or it could be in a wider area of their lifestyle such as housing or money management. By starting the conversation in a non-judgemental and open manner, the MECC practitioner can provide a good foundation for the conversation to lead to a behaviour change through the individuals own discussion.
MECC is a simple behaviour change intervention, which supports national, regional and local ambitions to embed an ill-health prevention and population health approach across health and care.
MECC will be part of a new Prevention Framework, which is being developed for the BNSSG Integrated Care System.
How can I sign up for MECC training?
To book onto a training course visit the South Gloucestershire Council Eventbrite page (link to follow).
What are we doing in South Gloucestershire?
The South West MECC Steering Group has developed a new MECC training programme based on the original course content developed by NHS Health Education England Wessex. We are going to launch this new training across BNSSG from April 2022.
In South Gloucestershire we have three MECC trainers who deliver MECC training. We would like to open this training up to more than just the health-related sector and incorporate colleagues from as many areas as possible. The potential for MECC to be used in day-to-day interactions from any service point is limitless once training has taken place.
The training uses everyday situations and focuses on Open Conversation Skills, which begin with either ‘What’ or ‘How’. For example:
- What do you want to change?
- What do you think is causing that to happen?
- How could be it be resolved?
- what do you need to access the help you require?
A MECC conversation may sometimes be a brief interaction, simply ‘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 related conversation skills provide a fantastic basis for staff who work with people for a more extended period, such as health and social care workers, as it provides an excellent foundation and complements other training, such as coaching and mentoring. To date in South Gloucestershire we have trained a range of staff including public health workers, social workers, library staff, health workers, Children’s Centre staff and housing teams.
What are the benefits of MECC training?
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?
Please see the below links for information related to MECC:
- South Gloucestershire healthy lifestyle service information
- First Contact scheme information
- Making Every Contact Count eLearning
- Healthier Together, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Sustainability and Transformation Partnership website
 Wessex Making Every Contact Count (MECC) pilot evaluation by the University of Southampton