What is Making Every Contact Count (MECC)?

Making Every Contact Count logo

MECC is simply a chat about health. MECC conversations are person or patient-led, and focus on what a person thinks they may be able to do to make a positive change to their lifestyle. They are often about ‘planting a seed’ for change or supporting someone to make a small step towards making a change.

MECC training focuses on using open discovery questions, which are questions starting with ‘what’ or ‘how’. Open discovery questions allow the conversation to be led by the person and move the conversation away from staff giving solutions or offering suggestions. MECC conversations often end with the person being signposted to the most appropriate support service (e.g. smoking cessation).

MECC focuses on the following areas:

  • Improving mental health and wellbeing
  • Stopping smoking
  • Reducing alcohol intake
  • Eating more healthily
  • Increasing physical activity

Our vision for the South West is that all health and social care organisations and relevant partner agencies will be aware of, adopt and embed the MECC principles.

This means that, whenever appropriate, the opportunity to reinforce messages about health and wellbeing and signpost to the relevant services is used.

A MECC conversation is a very brief intervention – no specific knowledge or expertise about the subject area is required. However, staff who deliver more intensive interventions as part of their everyday roles can also use MECC. It can help with opening conversations and supporting people to think about changes that they want to make.

What are the benefits of MECC training?

  • MECC offers a long-term approach to prevention, making it a core part of everyone’s work
  • An evaluation of the Wessex MECC model (the model used in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG)) found that staff reported improved job satisfaction, increased professional empathy, and that MECC had had a positive effect on organisational culture
  • MECC supports the improvement of service quality and patient outcomes
Two people having a conversation

Training options

There are a number of MECC training options available for people in BNSSG. Training is cascaded through organisations so there are also opportunities to complete a ‘Train the Trainer’ course. The following training options are available:

  • Full MECC Healthy Conversation training – two half days
  • Introduction to MECC – half day
  • Condensed training – this is developed locally and can vary (e.g. two hour session or bitesize sessions delivered in team meetings)
  • MECC E-learning (the Wessex, Thames Valley, Kent, Surrey and Sussex is the version used in the South West)

If you are interested in training please contact your local MECC lead:


Bristol – Katie Porter (Katie.porter@bristol.gov.uk)

North Somerset – Kate Blakley (Kate.Blakley@n-somerset.gov.uk)

South Gloucestershire – Claire Rees (Claire.Rees@southglos.gov.uk)