Lancashire and South Cumbria health and care organisations have launched a new campaign ‘A small chat can lead to a big change’ to help encourage local people to take action to improve their health and wellbeing.
Making Every Contact Count (MECC) is an approach to behaviour change that uses many of the day to day interactions we have with other people, to encourage changes in behaviour that have a positive effect on people’s health and wellbeing.
The MECC approach was established in 2015 by NHS England, Public Health England, Health Education England and wider partners.
Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System has developed a MECC approach campaign that is personalised for the needs of the local population.
This campaign includes:
- A fully funded training programme that will train and support around 100 MECC trainers across the region over the next two years
- A new online resource toolkit.
In Lancashire and South Cumbria alone 3,500 deaths a year are considered preventable and 40 per cent of premature deaths are thought to be related to lifestyle behaviour.
Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, Director of Public Health for Lancashire County Council and Senior Responsible Officer for Prevention and Population Health for Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System, said:
“Making Every Contact Count is a brilliant opportunity to help us all tackle some of the major causes of ill-health in the area – whether that is giving up smoking, reducing alcohol intake, improving mental health or providing housing benefit advice.
“Prevention is essential in tackling long-term chronic conditions to improve the health and wellbeing of people.
“Making Every Contact Count is about prevention and taking the opportunity to have a brief conversation about healthy lifestyles to encourage behaviour change.
“Whether you are a health and care professional, community worker, colleague or friend, the MECC online toolkit of resources makes it really easy to start those conversations – a small chat can lead to a big change.”
Dr Gunjit Bandesha, Consultant in Healthcare Public Health for Public Health England North West and Chair of the Lancashire and South Cumbria MECC Steering Group, said:
“We know that the future success of our health and care system is dependent on us working in a different way. The MECC approach is about organisations across Lancashire and South Cumbria encouraging their staff and volunteers to use their valuable time with people to focus on health and wellbeing.
“Staff will be trained to have brief conversations with people about the things that matter to them and signpost them to contacts, help or services that will keep them well and support them to lead the life they want to lead.”