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Make Every Contact Count (MECC)

What is MECC?

Making Every Contact Count (MECC) is about helping people to improve their health and wellbeing by giving them the tools to make healthy lifestyle choices like giving up smoking, eating more healthily and doing more exercise.

The principle of MECC is simple. It’s not about adding to your workload. Rather, it recognises the fact that staff in the health, public and voluntary sectors have hundreds of contacts with the public every day and we have the ability to use those contacts to help change people’s behaviours for the better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Cardiff and Vale UHB staff are in an ideal position to promote health.

We are working together with partner organisations to help staff to recognise their vital role in health improvement and health protection.

  • For organisations, MECC means providing their staff with the leadership, environment, training and information that they need to deliver the MECC approach.
  • For staff, MECC means having the competence and confidence to deliver healthy lifestyle 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 lifestyle by eating well, maintaining a healthy weight, drinking alcohol sensibly, exercising regularly, not smoking and looking after their wellbeing and mental health.
MECC focuses on the lifestyle issues that, when addressed, can make the greatest improvement to an individual’s health:

 


How to Make Every Contact Count

MECC is not about becoming a specialist in lifestyle choices, nagging or telling people what to do, or providing ongoing support. Instead, the key is to use opportunities that arise in your conversations with service users to motivate them to make a change and then provide them with information about how to go about it.

The simple 3 As approach can be used undertaking a brief health chat:

  • Ask individuals about their lifestyle and changes they may wish to make, when there is an appropriate opportunity to do so
  • Advise appropriately on the lifestyle issue/s once raised
  • Act by offering information, signposting or referring individuals to the support they need.

We realise that it is not easy for everyone to raise questions about lifestyle behaviours which can have an impact on a person's wellbeing. However, we also know that the majority of patients don’t mind being asked about their lifestyle and many actually expect healthcare professionals to ask these types of questions.

MECC Training

Cardiff and Vale UHB provides training in MECC, which offers practical advice on how to be opportunistic in a conversation, and how and where to signpost people to help them make positive behaviour changes.

We know that the majority of staff already have these types of conversations on a regular basis. However, MECC training will ensure that there is a consistent approach across the UHB and partner organisations.

For more information and dates for the next training sessions, please contact Elin.evans5@wales.nhs.uk

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