About Powys

Powys Overview

Powys is a great place to live and work, and many residents enjoy good health as a consequence.  Nevertheless, there remain significant challenges in further improving health behaviours and health outcomes, for example:

  • Smoking prevalence is still too high and not enough smokers are accessing smoking cessation services
  • Prevalence of overweight and obesity – in line with the rest of Wales, too many people are overweight or obese as children and as adults.  Not enough children are up to date with their vaccinations and flu vaccination uptake rates for over 65’s and  under 65s at risk and pregnant women remain below national targets
  • Only 4 in 10 adults report being physically active on 5 or more days a week.

Going forwards into 2017/18, our priority areas as stated in the IMTP include reducing smoking prevalence, reducing overweight and obesity, increasing the uptake of seasonal influenza vaccinations, increasing the uptake of routine scheduled immunisations, increasing resilience of children and young people and providing Making Every Contact Count training. There will also be a specific focus on early years with work to address adverse childhood experiences.  

MECC in Powys

Our MECC Objective: To give individuals the knowledge, skills and confidence to effectively raise the issue of health behaviour change with clients, patients and service users, so that effective discussion about health behaviours becomes a routine, non-judgemental and integral part of everyone’s professional responsibility

Making Every Contact Count (MECC) is an evidence based programme which supports individuals to become advocates for behaviour change. Many staff will already carry out ‘chats’ that promote lifestyle change routinely as part of their role. In MECC we refer to these chats as ‘brief advice’ or ‘brief intervention’. MECC training will equip staff with the skills and confidence to identify opportunities to use brief advice or brief intervention and to talk to patients, service users, family, friends and colleagues about making healthy lifestyle changes. 

The key health behaviours addressed through MECC include healthy eating, physical activity, alcohol, smoking, flu and mental health and wellbeing.   In Powys we offer a Level 1+ course and a Level 2 course.  The Level 1+ course focuses on brief advice and is aimed at those who have little experience of health behaviour change and healthy lifestyles. The level 2 course focuses on brief intervention, and is designed for those who see clients/patients regularly, and have background knowledge of healthy lifestyles and health behaviour change. For more information about MECC training and to find out which course would suit you best, download the course flyer and overview below.

MECC Flyers

How to Book MECC Training

MECC training is applicable to anyone who has regular contact or interaction with others and/or has an interest in promoting healthy lifestyles and/or helping others to look after themselves.

In Powys, MECC training can be booked by contacting the Powys Public Health team directly. We prefer to train a specific staff group or organisation and are able to train a minimum of 6 people and a maximum of 26 in any one session. To date we have trained staff from a range of organisations and disciplines including staff at GP practices, nurses, physiotherapists, health visitors, midwives, fire service, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, administrative staff, Kaleidoscope, MIND staff and many more.

If you are interested in arranging MECC training for your staff group or organisation, please contact PowysPHT.admin@wales.nhs.uk or call us on 01874712738

MECC Delivery in Powys

The MECC training offered by the Public Health Team offers practical advice on how to carry out opportunistic chats, signpost to local services and encourage people to make positive steps towards making a healthy lifestyle change.   Below are some examples of how MECC has impacted staff. 

Christina Thomas (MIU Nurse, Ystradgynlais): ‘I attended a MECC training session in June, and I could really see how the course would benefit all staff in my workplace (Ystradgynlais Hospital). The principles and skills discussed on the MECC course are relevant to all members of staff and I thought through training the whole organisation, we could really start to make a difference to population health. I liaised with the Public Health Team, and in November, all staff at the hospital site were trained in MECC over the course of three days. We’ve seen huge increases in the number of people we have referred to Stop Smoking Wales since the training took place.”

Sian Young (Physiotherapist, Brecon): “I attended the MECC training at Ystradgynlais hospital in November. Before attending, I was a little unsure about how MECC would fit into my role as a physiotherapist and if it would be useful to me. I was surprised to find that I really enjoyed the session, it was informative and interactive and it gave me a chance to learn new skills and share ideas with other colleagues. I even found that I felt more motivated in myself after attending, and that week I started going to netball training, which had been on my ‘to do’ list for a while! I am looking forward to putting some of the skills I learnt into practice with my clients’.

Maralene Griffiths, (Health visitor, Llansantffraid): ‘I had been thinking for a while about ways that I could support the families I visit to be more active. After attending the MECC training, I felt inspired to put things into motion. I made contact with Tessa from the Public Health team and now we have 3 walk leader training sessions fully booked with the view of rolling out Buggy /community walks involving Health Professionals and the local community around Powys.”

The evaluation of MECC for the first year it was delivered (2015/16) shows some positive results. Click on the poster to see our findings in more detail;

MECC Research Conference Poster


Each month, Powys Public Health team produce a bulletin that focuses on the health behaviours addressed through MECC and keeps those who have had MECC training informed of any updates and developments.

If you would like to view past issues of our monthly MECC bulletin, please click here

If you would like to sign up to our monthly MECC bulletin please click here

We have also produced booklets to support the Level 1 and the Level 2 training packages. To view a booklet online, please click here;

MECC Booklet

More information about MECC delivery in Powys can be obtained by contacting Powys public health team. Further information can also be viewed on out internet page - http://www.powysthb.wales.nhs.uk/making-every-contact-count

Physical activity guide PHW Physical Activity (PTHB).pdf