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 Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire 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 that Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) training is based on) 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

Each BNSSG health and care organisation has a MECC Lead and Trainer(s) who deliver in-house MECC training. Staff should contact their employer’s Learning & Development Team for details of the type of MECC training their organisation offers.

There is also a BNSSG MECC ‘Train the Trainer’ one day course, which trains staff to become MECC trainers and deliver a two hour MECC training course.  Further information is available from the BNSSG MECC Leads (contact information below).

Health Education England MECC e-learning

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


Bristol – Jennifer Davies (Jennifer.Davies@bristol.gov.uk)

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

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