Integration of Care in Complex and Fragmented Service Systems: Experiences of Staff in Flexible Assertive Community Treatment Teams
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Introduction: To provide more integrated care, several countries have implemented the Flexible Assertive Community Treatment (FACT) model. However, this model does not guarantee full integration, especially in complex and fragmented service systems like in Norway. Hence, we investigated which barriers that might reduce the potential for integrated care in the Norwegian system, as described by staff in FACT teams, and how they adjust their way of working to increase the opportunities for integration. Methods: Online focus group interviews involving 35 staff members of five Norwegian FACT teams were conducted using a semi-structured interview guide. The material was analysed using thematic text analysis. Results: Six themes described the barriers to integrated care in the service system: fragmentation, different legislation and digital systems, challenges in collaboration, bureaucracy and limited opening hours. Three themes described adjustments in the teams’ way of working to enhance integration: working as the responsible co-ordinator, being a collaborator, and the only entry channel into the service system. Conclusion: The FACT team staff described several barriers to integration within the system. However, they made some adjustments in their way of working that might provide opportunities for integrated care within complex and fragmented service systems.