Developing, implementing and evaluating a ‘Healthy Conversations’ (MECC) training programme across Sheffield City Council

‘Making Every Contact Count’ (MECC) is a long term strategy that aims to create a healthier population who are able to experience increased levels of wellbeing and a greater tendency to take control over their own health, wellbeing and general lifestyle choices. This report describes the development, implementation and evaluation of an innovative locally tailored ‘Healthy Conversations’ MECC training programme for community based staff employed by Sheffield City Council.

The standard course was 3 hours in duration and evaluated favourably against the national quality marker checklist. Course content was tailored on an ongoing basis based on learner feedback, with some topics covered in greater or lesser detail to respond to staff needs. From June 2015 to June 2017 a total of 430 staff were trained to use ‘Healthy Conversations’.

Staff reported the training as either ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’, and were positive about its pace and style. Staff expressed the desire for more in depth training and appreciated the group interaction and opportunities to share information. Qualitative analyses of focus group data elicited staff’s perspective of the training and the facilitators and barriers which influenced their decision to instigate a healthy conversation with their customers.

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