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Croeso to N.E.W. MST CYMRU

The North East Wales (N.E.W) MST Cymru team

The first MST team in Wales opened in May 2020. Covering the large geographical area of North East Wales, the team delivers MST across two local authorities – Wrexham County Borough Council and Flintshire County Council. The team has been funded by a Transformation Grant from the Welsh Government. The Transformation Grant aims to transform the way health and social care work together to improve services particularly to children at the edge of care and their families.

Working with health partners from the Betsi Cadwalladr University Health Board, a Steering Group was established with the two Local authorities and key partners from Youth Justice, Social Care, Education and CAMHS.  MST was seen as a new approach which could improve outcomes for the target groups as well as develop something transformational that had not been seen before within the referral area. The Project Manager Rebecca Jones, employed by Denbighshire County Council who host the North Wales Social Care and Wellbeing Services Improvement Team, worked tirelessly with the Steering Group partners to establish the team and champion MST across north east Wales and beyond.

 The North East Wales (N.E.W) MST Cymru team opened during the first wave of COVID 19 restrictions and however have maintained face to face visits throughout the pandemic. The team felt that doing this was important to achieve engagement with families and to embed the team within the local area. Therapists have remained ‘Covid aware’ throughout and ensure that families are symptom free before visits and sessions are conducted following social distancing guidelines. The team also conducted supervision and consultation every week in person rather than virtually and MST Supervisor Donna Watt feels that this was essential in the team’s development and growth.

As with any new venture stakeholders are essential to ensuring success and longevity. To celebrate their new and ongoing relationships with stakeholders the team held a launch event in August 2020. Due to the ongoing Covid restrictions this had to take place virtually, however this did not dampen the celebrations. The day started with a video from Sally Holland, Children’s Commissioner for Wales and included presentations on The Process of Service Transformation by Marilyn Wells, Head of Nursing for CAMHS/ND & LD – East Area (BCUHB), The Impact of MST in working with Children’s Social Care by Jenny Frost, Service Manager Children’s Protection and Support (FCC) and a well-received presentation on their progress from the team.


The team originally opened with three therapists and have since been joined by a fourth therapist and business support officer to complete the team. They are supported by MST Consultant Garry Blackburn, who has been instrumental in supporting their success. ‘I’m really honoured to be the first MST Consultant for Wales, and have been overwhelmingly impressed by the commitment and enthusiasm by the which the MST team have been embraced at every level from the families, through colleagues in health and social care, to the senior leaders. In a very short time, the team has had a staggering impact on families and shown exceptional skill and close collaboration with services on complex safeguarding cases and with  young people presenting with  problem behaviours making them at high risk of immediate out of home placement’.