Over 1,000 people have completed the HSE’s Making Every Contact Count training so far this year, although the pandemic has curtailed participation, this newspaper has been told.
The training course, which launched two years ago, aims to help healthcare workers to “address prevention and lifestyle behaviour change with their service users in routine clinical consultation where possible”.
“HSE healthcare professionals are being encouraged to complete the Making Every Contact Count online training modules,” an Executive spokesperson told the Medical Independent.
“Since the launch of the e-learning programme, in June 2018 over 4,000 have completed the modules, with a further 1,700 making steady progress through the modules.
“This year (up to July 2020), 1,068 completed the online training of which 698 were HSE staff with 133 participants attending the face-to-face workshops.”
The HSE said that these workshops were delivered up to the 10 of March before the pandemic led to them being halted.
The spokesperson added that “a range of different staff including doctors, nurses, midwives, healthcare assistants, service managers, dental (dentists, dental nurses, dental hygienists), occupational therapy, physiotherapy, social care, social work, public health and health promotion workers have participated in the face-to-face workshops this year.”
The spokesperson did not supply specific figures for how many doctors participated.
“Due to the impact of Covid-19, planned activity to scale up the promotion of the training programme to staff was curtailed, which impacted the uptake of the programme. The face-to-face training has not resumed yet, but alternative virtual options are currently being assessed.”
According to the Executive, the Making Every Contact Count training programme aims to support healthcare workers to address prevention and lifestyle behaviour change with their service users in routine clinical consultation where possible, “by using their daily interactions with service users as opportunities to have good conversations that help people to make healthier lifestyle choices – to eat well, get active, reduce their drinking and quit smoking.”