Making Every Contact Count

It was agreed in September 2016 between Enfield Community Education Provider Network (CEPN), and the London Borough of Enfield [LBE] that LBE would provide “a service designed to facilitate the reduction in health inequalities in Enfield”.

The core of this would be offering “Making Every Contact Count” or “MECC” training to those involved in the primary and social care sector in Enfield, from both the professional and voluntary sectors.

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

MECC focuses on the lifestyle issues that, when addressed, can make the greatest improvement to an individual’s health such as:

  • Stopping smoking
  • Drinking alcohol only within the recommended limits
  • Healthy eating
  • Being physically active
  • Keeping to a healthy weight
  • Improving mental health and wellbeing

Between October of 2016 and February 2017 a number of half day sessions were run by an external facilitator who are extremely experienced in the delivery of MECC and who are currently engaged by a large number of social and health care providers in the UK for this purpose.

Results

  • 192 attendees over 17 half-day sessions
  • Very mixed attendances – [SMG] preference
  • Cost-per-candidate [thus far] £110.00
  • Positive candidate feedback

There has been some evidence that attending the course has got across the idea that health is “everyone’s business” .

Pre-course

  • The majority of participants (72%) attended the course to find out more about MECC. 25% however reported that they attended because they were “told to come”
  • 54% of participants claimed they had no knowledge of MECC.

Post-course

  • 29% of participants claimed to know everything about MECC post-training. The average score was 4.14 on a scale where 1 = Nothing and 5 = Everything
  • 69% of participants said they felt that ‘Communication skills (raising the issue and getting a conversation started)’ was most beneficial to them. Most parts however were well received.

Moving Forward

Local Authorities and their Public Health teams across England are starting to focus upon the concept of “Health in All Policies”. A major component of this is the development and ongoing deployment of MECC which will include a strong mental health as well as other prevention messages.
The London Borough of Enfield has an aspiration to participate in this process, so watch this space!