Making Every Contact Count toolkit

Background to the project

Many long-term diseases in our population are closely linked to known behavioural risk factors. Around 40% of the UK’s disability adjusted life years lost are attributable to tobacco, hypertension, alcohol, being overweight or being physically inactive.

Making changes such as stopping smoking, improving diet, increasing physical activity, losing weight and reducing alcohol consumption can help people to reduce their risk of poor health significantly. ‘Making Every Contact Count’ (MECC) is an approach to behaviour change that utilises the millions of day-to-day interactions that organisations and people have with other people to encourage changes in behaviour that have a positive effect on the health and wellbeing of individuals, communities and populations.

The original MECC website hosted a wealth of information, resources and guides around MECC, however these were becoming out-of-date and in need of a refresh, which is where the MECC toolkit project came to light. In collaboration with Health Education England (HEE) and eLearning for healthcare (elfh), Maudsley Learning worked to pull together a new, easily accessible toolkit in the hopes of encouraging more people, communities and NHS Trusts to adopt and implement the MECC approach into their daily lives and be able to find resources more easily.

What is the MECC toolkit?

The MECC toolkit has been designed to provide an up-to-date collection of resources and information as an e-learning package. This will replace the existing HEE MECC website and be hosted by elfh as an online toolkit. It is an online space and learning tool which signposts to different materials and resources to teach you about the background of MECC and how you could implement and critically evaluate the MECC approach yourself, or in your organisation. Additionally, All-Our-Health training resources, wider MECC networks such as MECC Link and region-specific resources, guides and case studies are brought together and signposted to within the toolkit to provide users with a range of information.

Aim and purpose

Over recent years, resources on MECC have grown in availability across numerous platforms and within different regions. One of the aims of this toolkit was to scope out existing resources to collate a range of accessible, current and new materials, without duplication, to provide an overview in 4 main areas: ‘What MECC is’, ‘How to implement it’, ‘Training resources on MECC and behaviour change/Person-centred Care approaches’ including case studies, and ‘Evaluating MECC interventions’ with lots of examples.

The key purpose of the MECC toolkit is to aid users in how they can use behaviour change approaches to improve the health and wellbeing of those around them, regardless of their previous experience or level of knowledge. We have designed the toolkit to be a full introduction to MECC, as well as a space that users with existing knowledge and skills can dip in and out of to access certain resources, guides or training.

How we developed it

The first stages of creating this toolkit involved gathering a project team of three research interns and our Organisational Psychology Consultant within the Research and Development Team at Maudsley Learning. We conducted an initial scoping exercise of all current literature and resources on MECC that were available both on the old existing HEE MECC website, and elsewhere on the internet. After pulling together existing resources, we were tasked with sifting through out-of-date or no longer available resources to create a collection of materials we could use moving forward. Alongside this, we scoped new resources and materials that were not included on the original website and reached out to different MECC Leads within various regions and sectors across the UK as our ‘subject matter experts’ to collate new resources that we may have missed. We also utilised these connections with various MECC Leads to review our toolkit content plans and ensure we were including the right level and range of materials and resources.

Next steps involved creating a skeleton of the toolkit in PowerPoint and writing up the content under each of our 4 sections: ‘What is MECC’, ‘Implementing MECC’, ‘Training in MECC’ and ‘Evaluating MECC’. This was an iterative process with many drafts which we spent time refining and updating to ensure the toolkit was meeting its aim. We then brought our toolkit drafts to meetings with HEE and digital creators from elfh to plan the structure and development of the toolkit on elfh’s online platform. After various discussions around design, usability, interactivity and content, the final draft was developed by elfh, ready for signoff and launch online.

Where you can access it and find out more for yourself

The toolkit will be open for public access on the elfh website and designed to target and accommodate for all levels of knowledge. Head to Making Every Contact Count - elearning for healthcare (e-lfh.org.uk) to access it.

in partnership with..
ELFH (eLearning for health care) develops learning programmes to support the health and care workforce.