Empowering frontline staff to feel confident and comfortable when they engage in conversations about health related issues with the people they meet is the aim of a new workforce development programme rolling out across Surrey Heartlands from September.


Making Every Contact Count (MECC) makes the most of the day-to-day interactions that staff have with the public by encouraging positive and healthy lifestyle conversations for behaviour change.

Across Surrey it’s estimated that 67% of people have two or three unhealthy lifestyle behaviours including smoking, unsafe levels of alcohol consumption, unhealthy eating and physical inactivity. Mental health and wellbeing is also a concern with more than 24,000 of those aged 65 and over reportedly living with moderate to severe depression.

Amy McCarthy, MECC Programme Manager, explained: “This training is not about adding another task to already hectic schedules but instead enhancing and building on the conversational techniques and skills people already have to promote behaviour change. These skills are transferable and can make having healthy conversations fun and impactful! “

The Surrey Heartlands MECC programme will deliver Level 2 MECC training to 2,000 frontline staff over 22 months. Three different courses will be offered each month – a full training day, a half day workshop and a 1.5 hour session. Organisations can choose the one that best fits with their objectives and also have the training tailored to staff needs upon request.

Workforce evaluations following a recent MECC programme delivered by the National Centre for Behaviour Change, highlighted that

  • 99% of attendees felt more confident in delivering a healthy conversation post training,
  • 98% rated the training either excellent or good,
  • Self-reported Improvements to the workforce’s health and wellbeing post MECC training

MECC is part of a national drive to tackle the wider determinants of health through prevention initiatives and encourages the use of consistent health and well-being messages and signposting information to reduce the risks associated to preventable disease. 

To find out more about this workforce development opportunity, please contact amy.mccarthy4@nhs.net.