Prevent in Health

The implementation of the Prevent duty in health erodes the trust between healthcare employees and their patients. Whatever your concern, these cases and resources are here to support you.

“Emily, Rebecca and other English children can write four pages [in English] – why can’t you?’ The optician repeated this six times, until the boy’s father asked why he was posing such irrelevant questions to his nine-year-old son. The optician admitted he had recently attended Prevent training.”

When you or your loved ones are suffering from pain or ill health, 

you are at your most vulnerable.  

Our work on Prevent in health highlight that it’s abusive when the health worker you trust views you through the lens of counter-extremism over care 

Last year’s Home Office statistics reveal that that 70% of the 6817 Prevent referrals – that is 4769 individuals, including young people and children – made in the year 2022/23 saw individuals rather signposted to support services, which included health. 

The health sector already has robust, Prevent-free safeguarding principles and decades of professional experience and judgment much more helpful to people than Prevent. 

We argue in our expert views that this demonstrates, among other things, that the best alternative to Prevent is no Prevent

This is especially true in the health sector, where large numbers of people with challenges such as ASD and other neurodiversities are often referred to Prevent, since its extremism indicators are so broad.

Because Prevent is an encounter with counter-terrorism, this can worsen their condition and push them away from the support they need, often never to return.

There are ways to challenge referrals, and we have the know-how to support you to do so.  

The depth of the harm of Prevent in health has been revealed by MedAct, in a 2021 report exposing the presence of a secretive counterterrorism police-led mental health project called  ‘Vulnerability Support Hubs’ to implant Prevent in the health sector

As early as 2016, the Royal College of Psychiatrists raised the alarm in its position statement about Prevent in terms of its conflict with the duties of a doctor, as well as its use as a data collection mechanism for purposes other than care. 

The Prevent visit to my workplace in the health sector is a violation of my privacy. I am a law-abiding citizen and I feel that my rights are being violated and that I am being discriminated against due to my faith.

Why is Prevent harmful in the health sector? 

The presence of Prevent in health means that doctors themselves – across various fields – have expressed deep ethical concerns with being legally obligated to report patients for “extremism”.

Prevent harms the crucial trust dynamics of medicine because: