Making Every Contact Count (MECC)

What is MECC?

The MECC approach aims to empower staff working particularly in health services, but also partner organisations, to recognise the role they have in promoting healthy lifestyles, supporting behaviour change and contributing to reducing the risk of chronic disease.

This recognition extends not only to their interaction with clients/patients, but also to their own health and wellbeing and that of their friends, families and colleagues. To be successful MECC must not be seen as a separate public health initiative, but a part of what we all do.

Adopting this approach will allow us to move to a position where discussion of lifestyle and wellbeing is routine, non-judgemental and integral to everyone’s professional and social responsibility.

MECC in Wales

MECC in Wales will have its maximum effect if delivered by staff of all NHS partner agencies, including local people and communities.

We want to help individuals build on their own health assets and co-produce their own health with the support of families, communities and professionals.

This needs to include promoting and supporting the health of our own staff. To encourage this, we want to create an environment in Wales where all workers are able to appropriately introduce ideas of lifestyle and behaviour change and motivate individuals to improve their own health and wellbeing.

This will need the development of confidence and the use of skills in awareness, engagement and communication.

Much work has been ongoing with piloting and evaluating the MECC training in North Wales and we are also learning a lot from the evidence that is emerging from other areas in England where this programme has been running for some time. It is evident that the successful implementation and sustainability of MECC relies heavily on senior buy-in and leadership, where organisations and services provide their staff with the leadership, environment, training and information they need to deliver the MECC approach and build a culture and operating environment that supports continuous health improvement through the contacts it has with individuals, which will improve wellbeing amongst patients/service users, staff and the general public and reduce health inequalities.

To ensure embedding and sustainability, we aim to ensure senior buy-in and leadership prior to any training taking place.

What is MECC?

  • Making Every Contact Count (MECC) is about having a conversation to encourage and empower people to change their behaviour to improve their health. The MECC approach enables those trained to use evidence based brief intervention skills and motivational interviewing techniques to support behaviour change conversations that focus on the issues important to the individual.
  • Lifestyle factors such as smoking, alcohol, diet and physical activity are some of the biggest contributors to poor health and a major cause of many preventable deaths and illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and some cancers. Evidence suggests that the adoption of a MECC approach across health and care could potentially have a significant impact on the health of our population.

How is training delivered?

Level 2 MECC Train the Trainer – ideal for organisations/ services who have staff appropriate to cascade training

  • This is our preferred option for training as it allows organisations or services to embed the approach within their everyday practice. It has been successfully piloted with a number of organisations such as North Wales Fire and Rescue Service and Cartrefi Conwy Housing Organisation with excellent feedback. This approach fully prepares participants  to deliver the 3 ½ hour MECC training within their own services/teams/organisations and allows for the flexibility of fitting training around individual service demands.
  • This training is one full day and is supported by training resources for each participant. The organisation/service would be responsible for identifying a small number of trainers (maximum of 8 per session) whose role means they would be suitable for delivering the training to others, and would be required to provide a venue for the training day.
  • A package of support is provided by the local public health team which fully supports the service/organisation and the trainers to implement and roll out the training of MECC

Level 2 MECC Direct Delivery – ideal for smaller organisations/services who do not have staff appropriate to cascade training

  • This interactive training session is 3 ½ hours and can be delivered to a maximum of 20 participants per session.
  • The service/organisation receiving the training will be required to provide a venue for the session.