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An introduction to behaviour change

Making Every Contact Count: An introduction to behaviour change is an eLearning programme that has been developed for the health and social care workforce by the NHS, in partnership with the voluntary sector.


Since then, the programme has been widely used to support health professionals and non-health professionals alike to develop their individual role and contribution to providing “health chats” as part of everyday contacts with the public. Click here for a video overview.

The programme has been refreshed to bring it up to date in 2015. Health data has been updated and recent organisational changes within health and public health care delivery and settings have been updated.

The purpose of the programme is to support the ambition of making health everyone’s business. The programme supports learning and development in behaviour change competence at level one and is designed to be used as part of a blended approach to learning and development in behaviour change.

It covers the lifestyle issues of smoking, alcohol, sexual health, mental health and wellbeing, healthy weight, physical activity and healthy eating and helps learners understand the scale of health problems in the North West, the key health messages and how to use the key principles of “health chats” to provide brief advice.

The learner is able to complete a short self-assessment as part of the programme and can print out a certificate on completion of the course as evidence of professional development. The programme takes approximately 45 minutes to complete.

Nearly half of all people (42%) living with a mental health condition currently smoke in England. This module has been developed particularly for those working with people living with mental health conditions.

In response to this a smoking and mental health module has been developed by Heart of Mersey and is embedded within Making Every Contact Count: An introduction to behaviour change. It gives frontline staff tips and advice about how smokers living with mental illness can successfully quit smoking and the benefits they experience from being smoke free. It also outlines the impact of stopping smoking on a number of mental health drugs and the importance of monitoring these during a quit attempt.

The module only takes ten minutes to complete and includes real life stories from ex-smokers about what worked for them and could work for others.

Proposed target audience

  • The health and social care workforce across a wide range of settings and anyone working with the public
  • Administrative and support staff in health care across a range of settings such as primary care, acute and tertiary care
  • Undergraduate health care workforce in further and higher education settings across the North West as part of the curricula
  • Administrative and support staff in other public sector settings such as local authorities and the voluntary sector
  • Public health/health promotion staff across all sectors including local authorities, NHS and primary care
  • Social care workforce

How might the programme be used?

  • As an introduction to basic behaviour change skills
  • To consolidate existing skills on behaviour change
  • As part of an organisation’s induction process, reflecting a commitment to promoting health and personal wellbeing
  • For personal professional development and to support an individual as a future health champion at home or in the workplace

The learning is specifically aimed at making sure that we all offer health chats in all contacts with patients, clients and members of the public. However, the skills required for effective health chats can be applied to the wider social determinants of health as well.

Health chats can be used as a normal part of all our interactions at home, in the workplace and in the wider community.

How can I access Making Every Contact Count: An introduction to behaviour change?

There are several ways to access Making Every Contact Count: An introduction to behaviour change:

  • Access via OLM NLMS:  For North West NHS organisations the programme has been placed on the regional eLearning server and can be linked for delivery through the NLMS. Access is available here. For enquiries regarding the regional elearning server contact elearning@liverpoolch.nhs.uk
  • Public access: The programme is available here.
  • SCORM package for internal LMS delivery: For organisations with their own eLearning platform that can accommodate SCORM objects, the programme is available for internal delivery. To obtain the relevant files please contact alison.farrar@lancashirecare.nhs.uk. In seeking to use this package for internal delivery organisations will be expected to periodically report key usage statistics

If you work in the NHS you are requested to consider undertaking this eLearning as part of your personal, professional development following agreement from your line manager.

If you would like further information please contact alison.farrar@lancashirecare.nhs.uk.

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