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Prevent

What is PREVENT?

PREVENT is part of the UK government Counter Terrorism Strategy, CONTEST. The CONTEST strategy consists of four areas.

CONTEST Strategy (4 P’s)

  • Pursue:  to stop terrorist attacks.
  • Prevent:  to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting violent extremism
  • Protect:  to strengthen our overall protection against terrorist attack
  • Prepare:  where we cannot stop an attack, to mitigate its impact.

The aim of PREVENT is to prevent people from becoming terrorists or being involved in supporting violent extremism. The Prevent strategy has been successfully rolled out in areas such as schools and local authorities. NHS Boards are now required to ensure systems and processes are developed to tackle the threat of national and international terrorism including the need to increase awareness within the workforce

In January 2015, the Scottish Government Resilience Unit published “Playing our Part” which supports and strengthens delivery of the PREVENT Strategy within Health Boards. Health Boards have been asked to prepare and submit a PREVENT Action Plan. The plan was submitted to the Scottish Government in March 2015.

In addition to “Playing our Part”, the UK government have also published the Counter Terrorism and Security Act (CTSA) in July 2015) which places a statutory duty on public bodies to have: 

“due regard to the need to prevent people frombeing drawn into terrorism” in the exercise of their functions.

Why is the NHS involved in this?

Healthcare professionals have a key role in Prevent. Prevent focuses on working with vulnerable individuals who may be at risk of being exploited by radicalisers and subsequently drawn into terrorist-related activity. Prevent does not require you to do anything in addition to your normal duties. What is important is that if you are concerned that a vulnerable individual is being exploited in this way, you can raise these concerns in accordance with the procedures below.

NHSGG&C has developed resources to support further awareness of Prevent including guidance on what to do if you suspect someone is being drawn into terrorist related activity.