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Developing an MST programme
Enquiries about setting up a new MST team in the UK should be made directed to Cathy James.
Cathy and the MST UK team will guide you through the stages of the MST site development process which covers the following areas:
- needs analysis of local population
funding and sustainability
MST model fidelity requirements
stakeholder collaboration and support
recruitment and training
- ongoing quality assurance
Regular meetings, including conference calls are held between MST UK and local commissioners and providers during the site set up process to bring all of the local stakeholders to a common understanding about the MST model and guide you through the implementation procedures. Work is undertaken to produce a local Goals and Guidelines document, which sets out the structure of the MST service, the referral pathways and the eligibility criteria for each MST team and also establishes local expectations around performance and data monitoring.
Prior to the service opening a local Site Readiness Review is held and following this a report will be written by the MST UK team, to ensure that the service is set up in accordance with the MST licensing requirements. At this review meeting a presentation on the MST model is also provided for local agencies who may refer into or work alongside the MST team, for example, Children’s services, Youth Offending Services, Education professionals, Magistrates and the Police.
Structure and organisation
Implementing an MST programme successfully requires local partnerships to understand how the programme will fit with their current services. Ensuring that local partnerships understand the level of organisational change required to implement the programme and have clear knowledge about the local needs profile is critical to the successful implementation and sustainability for the programme.
Understanding organisational change
Understanding the level of organisation change required to implement an MST programme includes the following:
clarity about the roles and responsibilities of the MST team and how they work alongside existing services
developing new ways of working in relation to staff recruitment and expectations of staff in realtion to flexible working and on-call
understanding cost implications
supporting cultural change among staff
developing an appropriate governance structure for the service, including a multi-agency steering group
A guide to staffing an MST programme
Support will also be offered in relation to recruiting staff for the MST service, this includes access to recruitment toolkits and also input from an MST Consultant throughout the recruitment process.
An MST team consists of:
- A supervisor
Three or four MST therapists
A part-time back-up supervisor (to provide cover when the supervisor is on annual leave and to assist with the on-call rota)
MST supervisors should be masters qualified professionals or equivalent with relevant post-qualifying experience in MST, Cogntive Behavioural Therapy, Structural or Strategic Familiy or behavioural therapy. Examples of suitable professionals:
clinical, forensic or counselling psychologists
senior social workers, probation officers or mental health nurses with relevant clinical experience and educated to masters level
Therapists can come from a range of backgrounds but should have a relevant professional qualification and experience of work with children and families in a community setting and of some of the approaches outlined above. Examples of suitable professionals are;
All staff need to be willing to work flexibly, including being part of an on-call rota and also be committed to working in a structured evidence based programme.
MST Clinical training
Once the site readiness process has been completed and the clinical team is in place, all therapists and supervisors are required to attend a five-day MST orientation training. Supervisors also attend an additional two-day supervisor orientation training. These trainings are offered on a regular basis in various locations across the UK.
Consultation and supervision
Each MST team is assigned an MST Consultant. Weekly telephone consultation is conducted by your Consultant with the MST team to provide feedback on treatment plans, discuss any barriers to progress and ensure that interventions are consistent with the MST model. This includes feedback on case notes and also reviews of audio recordings. Ongoing booster training is organised by your team’s consultant for the MST team on a quarterly basis and is tailored to the requirements of your team.
Performance Implementation Review reports are prepared by the MST consultant in collaboration with the supervisor on a six monthly basis for senior managers and the relevant steering group. These reports cover the team’s performance and outcomes for families and also address any particular strengths of the team or barriers to progress.