Among the first empirical studies of how healthcare workers are trained to perform a counter-terrorism role under the UK Prevent counter-extremism strategy, this report by Dr Charlotte Heath-Kelly and Dr Erzsébet Strausz evidences that safeguarding professionals are concerned that they are operating in an ethical ‘grey area’.
The report, released through the University of Warwick, highlights how those working in safeguarding in the National Health System (NHS) in particular, state that there are significant differences exist between Prevent Duty safeguarding and normal safeguarding.
It found that only 47% of respondents agreed that Prevent is a genuine safeguarding procedure, and only 48% agree that Prevent belongs in healthcare.
Notably, it suggested that:
“the line between mental illness and radicalisation is becoming increasingly blurred by initiatives like ‘Prevent in Place’, radicalisation screening practices in individual Mental Health Trusts, and the 2017 Prevent Guidance for Mental Health Trusts. The Prevent Duty should not act as a fast-track pathway to mental health care, or other social services, as this creates incentives for well-meaning practitioners to misuse Prevent to access services.”
- This report, published in contributed to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights’ report into the Counter Terrorism and Border Security Bill, and was cited in support of an independent review of Prevent.
- It was a precursor to later reports by MedAct, including False Positives (Report, 2020) and the one revealing secretive Vulnerability Support Hubs in healthcare. (Report, 2021)
- Here’s an updated list of Dr Heath-Kelly’s reports on Prevent in the health and safeguarding sector.
You can read the full report into the NHS HERE.