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For all health care staff, every interaction with a patient or client is an opportunity to promote health and prevent illness (RCN 2012).

The NHS Future Forum report (2012) states that “Every healthcare professional should use every contact with an individual to help them maintain or improve their mental and physical health and well-being; in particular targeting the four main lifestyle risk factors; diet, physical activity, alcohol and tobacco – whatever their speciality or the purpose of the contact”.

This recommendation has been called Making Every Contact Count (MECC) and is being widely adopted across the UK.

Motivational interviewing and MECC. 

Motivational interviewing (MI) is an empathetic and supportive counselling style that encourages and strengthens a client's motivation for change.

Research shows that motivational interviewing techniques lead to greater participation in treatment and more positive treatment outcomes. This makes motivational interviewing an excellent tool for using with MECC. It is not just about speaking to clients about their own immediate health, but also has a wider reach across the community from discussing medication with a client and why they are reluctant to take certain drugs, or talking to a family about keeping children off school to prevent cross infection or even supporting a client who is anxious or depressed.

This module will give you an overview of motivational interviewing and will provide you with a 'change toolkit' to use when discussing change with your clients. It will also sign-post you to other resources should you wish to know more about MI and MECC.