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Public health


Making Every Contact Count (MECC)

Making Every Contact Count (MECC) is an approach to behaviour change that uses the millions of day-to-day interactions that organisations and individuals have with other people to support them in making positive changes to their physical and mental health and wellbeing. It supports the opportunistic delivery of consistent and concise healthy lifestyle information and enables individuals to engage in conversations about their health at scale across organisations and populations.

Health Education England’s Wessex, Kent, Surrey and Sussex and Thames Valley local teams have developed an e-Learning programme as MECC is something everyone who has contact with the public can take part in. The e-Learning provides the knowledge to enable the delivery of a consistent approach to support people to improve their health and wellbeing through making positive changes to their lifestyles. After completing the e-Learning, you can access local face-to-face skills development to further develop your ability to have conversations about health and well-being.

London South Bank University were commissioned to undertake a rapid review of national evidence base and identify activities/programmes already taking place in Kent, Surrey and Sussex (KSS) that could potentially fall under the MECC umbrella.  The following actions have moved forward the implementation of a KSS wide MECC programme:

  • Development of a MECC competency framework, refreshing existing examples and creating an extended framework based on core (Level 1) and skilled (Level2) competency
  • Development of e-Learning for core MECC competency covering knowledge and introduction to MECC skills. This e-Learning is hosted on the e-LfH portal and has been commissioned with Wessex and Thames Valley
  • A skills training package for workforces to gain skills competency
  • A logic model for evaluation has been created that allows organisations to plan a MECC project from inception to evaluation and includes inputs, outputs and outcomes. This model has formed the basis for the national MECC Advisory Groups publication for MECC evaluation
  • Procurement of an external evaluation of the spearhead projects is being planned with each spearhead being assessed as well as the overall impact of MECC across KSS

Organisations outside of the six spearhead projects have used the KSS resources to model local programmes thereby ensuring consistency across the region.

Public Health workforce development

Health Practitioner Development

We have continued to support public health practitioner development by contributing funding to the programme of support for public health practitioners working across the NHS, local authority and third sector organisations, to attain professional registration with the UK Public Health Register.

Public Health Workforce Intelligence

Mapping work is taking place to:

  • Quantify and map the number of consultants, specialists and practitioners across the public health system by patch as well as identify their primary functions
  • Develop close partnership working with us to ensure intelligence from local employers of public health staff is fed into strategic and workforce planning processes
  • Use quantitative and qualitative information to identify current gaps, potential succession planning issues and develop action plans (local or regional) to tackle them, working closely with PHE and LA teams.

We are developing three Youth Ambassador Apprenticeship posts, one for each county. They will work across the strategic clinical network and public health to promote health and social care careers, provide young people with representation on groups and promote public health messages to young people.  

We are also facilitating the educational aspects of the pilot of PACE Setter award which has been designed by the South East Coast Strategic Clinical Network (SECSCN). This pioneering programme is a voluntary but formal system for recognising, celebrating, promoting and sharing excellence in the provision of health services to children and young people. Workshops are also being organised with GPs who have joined the scheme to help them recognise the education and training needs of their practices, and to offer solutions on how to fulfil these needs.

Procurement and implementation of a workforce modelling tool for the healthy child programme is proposed.

KSS public health network

To maintain a skilled, informed core PH workforce, a public health CPD programme across KSS for core PH workforces and masterclasses for those interested in developing their public health knowledge and skills.

Key contacts

Jane Butler – Head of Clinical Education

Judy Curson – Head of the School of Public Health

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