3 reasons why ‘Making Every Contact Count’ is the ultimate nudge

Making Every Contact Count (MECC) is the behaviour change intervention sweeping the nation. Well, maybe not the nation, but definitely in Local Authorities and Public Health departments. Could it be the ultimate behaviour change nudge? Maybe. Here are three reasons why.

  1. MECC enables individual self-care
  2. MECC shifts social norming toward healthy conversations and choices
  3. MECC nudges strategic planning to reach people in their lives

Reasons 1 . individual self-care

Commissioned by Local Authorities MECC uses the COM-B behaviour change model and is upstream prevention in action. It recognises that to make real change and prevent illness we need to work together as a community. It uses social marketing principles and places the person at the centre. Local influencers are trained to have a brief opportunistic conversations support them make the changes in their lifestyle. This could be smoking, drinking habits, exercise habits etc.

Therefore not only is the individual gently nudged along their journey to make healthier choices, the social norm is reshaped also as prevention becomes a cultural aspiration. A double win.

Reason 2. social norming

See above.

It’s a double win because it’s the people that matter to us in our lives that are empowered to open up conversations around health. Setting a new social narrative.

Fabulous example of MECC in action Thank you Emily Enock for sharing: Oxfordshire County Council, Public Health have been working with the Library Service to pilot a MECC project. The pilot aimed to give library staff participating the skills and confidence to have conversations about health. Encouraging staff to sign post to national sources of evidence based health information and also to local livewell support services Have a look at their fab video that it brings it to life.

Reason 3. the new health & social care systems

The third reason and personally I think the most important is that Every Contact Counts could be the ultimate reminder to our new emerging integrated public sector systems that prevention of ill health is everyone’s job.

Public Health stretches across Local Government and the NHS for a reason.

It bridges diagnosis, treatment and management of ill health with the wider determinants that will also determine a person’s health. These are traditionally run by the Local Authority and include environment, transport, housing etc. This fragmentation is being tackled by the new systems.

In theory the Sustainable Transformation Partnerships and Integrated Care Systems bring together the organisations that shape our society together around the person. With pressures to reduce spending and reshape NHS services dominating the agenda MECC is a reminder of the importance to think upstream.

Prevention starts way before people become patients. The NHS cannot be saved without investing in the solutions that will bring about change.

Is MECC the ultimate nudge?

Does MECC have a fighting chance of reshaping our communities from the inside out? Is it…could it be… the ultimate nudge? What do you think?

Thanks again to Emily Enock communications superstar.

1 Comment

  1. I’m new to this ‘game’ and Ruth, this is great. I keep on being told to use Eventbrite to manage the events we run and yes it would make life logistically easier, but having interaction with the families we deal with means I can be aware of personalities, issues and anxieties from the off, and be proactive and pragmatic in my approach. Some useful information and references here, thank you.

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