Patients can expect a more thorough look at their health as we pledge to make every contact count.
Making Every Contact Count (MECC) is a simple but effective health intervention. MECC enables the opportunistic delivery of healthy lifestyle information and enables individuals to engage in conversations about their health.
Staff at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, engage in thousands of conversations every day with individuals. These members of staff are ideally placed to promote healthy lifestyles and influence behaviour change.
Encouraging individuals to talk about their health in more general terms can open up opportunities to signpost and support with maintaining a healthy weight, drinking alcohol sensibly, exercising regularly, not smoking and looking after their wellbeing and mental health.
MECC is for everyone. The Trust is providing staff with the leadership, training and information they need to deliver the MECC approach with confidence. Staff are also encouraged to act as role models to engage in better conversations with each other to promote healthy lifestyles.
Senior clinical professional physiotherapist Kath Tarn is leading on the development of the introduction of Making Every Contact Count at the Trust. She said: “Making Every Contact Count is health care in its purest form. It’s about early identification of health issues and prevention.
“We see people when they have a health problem – we do our best to fix it and the patient goes home. But we think we can do more.
“By talking honestly and openly with our patients about their lifestyles, we will be able to signpost and support patients to make positive changes.
“So, while we may be treating the patient to help them recover from a broken leg, we’ll be taking a broader look at their health to offer any additional support. Offering support to quit smoking, lose weight or manage stress will only have positive outcomes.
“We want our patients to enjoy the best health possible and by making every contact count we can go a long way towards that ambition.”
Making Every Contact Count is a partnership between the NHS and local authorities. The Making Every Contact Count website is funded by the local authorities and provides an invaluable source of information for healthcare professionals.