Developing, implementing and evaluating a ‘Healthy Conversations’ (Making Every Contact Count) training programme across Sheffield City Council.

What are the aims of this project?

• Develop and implement an innovative and locally tailored ‘Healthy Conversations’ training programme for community based Sheffield City Council employed staff
• Increase staff skills and confidence to offer targeted support to people in vulnerable communities or population groups in Sheffield
• Examine the impact of the Healthy Conversations programme on both staff and council

Why is this important?

In line with the current Department of Health Corporate Plan and the recent Care Act, Sheffield City Council (SCC) is developing its wider role in promoting wellbeing, helping people to be healthy and preventing ill health. The aim is to maximise all opportunities to support good health and wellbeing and “turn the Council into a public health organisation”.
One of the ambitions resulting from this is to ensure every contact SCC has with the people of Sheffield is designed to have a positive impact on their health and wellbeing. The aim is to equip the SCC workforce with the skills and competencies needed to realise its public health vision. In addition, the challenges of the economic climate, with a new focus on doing ‘more with less’ means resources must be used more efficiently to deliver the best outcomes.

How will the research be carried out?

A total of four staff cohorts (30 per cohort) have been identified from internal council services and are being trained to use ‘Healthy Conversations’ (HC’s) with the customers they support. Qualitative and quantitative data is collected from each cohort at baseline, three and six months post training. Learning from each cohort is then used to inform the development and delivery of subsequent training. In addition, data are being collected from customers of trained staff to ascertain their experience of receiving a HC.


Teams are being trained and data collected between June 2015 and June 2017

Who is undertaking the research?

CLAHRC Yorkshire & Humber have secured matched funding from the Sheffield Hospitals Charitable Trust (SHC) to undertake this research. Public Health, SCC has recruited an experienced member of staff seconded from the Council’s Learning and Development Team to develop and deliver the programme in consultation with the wider project team. ScHARR are providing matched resource to oversee the project and provide research support and guidance.

How are stakeholders being engaged?

Training cohorts are prioritised in consultation with senior management from each service.

What will be the outputs from the study?

Haywood, A & Turner, D. Developing, implementing and evaluating a ‘Healthy Conversations’ training programme across Sheffield City Council. Developing Excellence in Local Public Health; Sharing Excellence and Innovation. Thursday 5th November 2015. The Edge, University of Sheffield.