Making Every Contact Count
Making Every Contact Count (MECC) is an approach to behaviour change that utilises the millions of day to day interactions that organisations and individuals have with other people to support them in making positive changes to their physical and mental health and wellbeing.
MECC enables the opportunistic delivery of consistent and concise healthy lifestyle information and enables individuals to engage in conversations about their health at scale across organisations and populations.
The MECC Approach
The MECC approach aims to empower staff working particularly in health services and 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-judgmental and integral to everyone's professional and social responsibility.
For the NHS, it is important that the professions and the people they serve are fully engaged. MECC should be viewed as a quality improvement initiative which will help extend the focus of NHS Wales to include prevention. It could also be a tool to support coproduction.
Prudent Healthcare suggests we should start with effective but minimum intensity intervention, which can be achieved by healthy lifestyle conversations such as through MECC.
Leadership is required at all levels to advocate for this agenda, from the front line to the boardroom. It must form part of the values and delivery of the NHS in Wales in order to enable the necessary scale of intervention to be developed. MECC must therefore be embedded in organisational processes throughout the NHS.
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