Developing, implementing and evaluating a ‘Healthy Conversations’ training programme across Sheffield City Council.
Sheffield City Council has developed and adapted the MECC approach into a ‘Healthy Conversations’ tailored training programme, which aims to increase staff skills and confidence to offer targeted support to its customers to enable them to take control of their own health, wellbeing and general lifestyle choices.
Four cohorts of staff in the Communities Portfolio, chosen for their ability to reach a diverse and often vulnerable population, undertook the 3 hour course. Pre and post training assessments informed the development and delivery of subsequent training. Focus groups were conducted at 3 and 6 months to examine staff’s perceptions of using the training over time. A small number of customers provided feedback about their experience of receiving a ‘Healthy Conversation’.
Many staff did not have knowledge of the MECC approach pre training, and acknowledged it would help them feel more comfortable talking to customers about their health and wellbeing. Focus group analysis from cohort 1 (Community Support and Social Workers) revealed the training gave them an increased confidence to discuss issues and a helpful reinforcement of existing knowledge. Having a healthy conversation largely depended on the customer’s readiness to change and some felt the training had raised awareness of their own health and wellbeing. Customers reported the main benefit was being able to talk to someone about their concerns.
Analysis of remaining cohorts is underway and differences are emerging in the way staff groups perceive the MECC approach. These issues are being further explored.
We would like to thank Sheffield Hospitals Charities and CLAHRC YH for providing the funding for this evaluation.
5th November DELPH Presentation - download the pdf here