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Prevent is part of the UK’s Counter Terrorism Strategy known as CONTEST. Prevent works to stop individuals from getting involved or supporting terrorism or extremist activity. Radicalisation is a psychological process where vulnerable and/or susceptible individuals are groomed to engage into criminal, terrorist activity.

The Prevent Programme is designed to safeguard people in a similar way to safeguarding processes to protect people from gang activity, drug abuse, and physical and sexual abuse.

With a staff population for 1.3million, the NHS is a value based organisation which aims to empower staff to understand and recognise all forms of harm and abuse, this includes radicalisation.

Tailored support for any individual identified as being vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism is offered through the voluntary Channel programme. This is a Local Authority led multi-agency panel, which decides on what the most appropriate support package for that person will be. On this panel, like many others, the health sector plays a pivotal role in providing appropriate health services for an individuals needs, whether that be through Primary Care, Mental Health services or wider support services.

Accountability and legislation

In April 2015, the Prevent Duty under Section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 was made a statutory responsibility for the health sector. The Duty stated that the health sector needed to demonstrate “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”.

Within health, NHS Trusts and Foundation Trusts are specifically mentioned in the Duty. However, Prevent is part of mainstream safeguarding and therefore all health staff must ensure vulnerable people are safeguarded.

The NHS Standards Contract requires all NHS funded providers to demonstrate they comply with the requirements of the Prevent Duty. This includes ensuring that there is a named Prevent Lead and that there is access to quality training for staff in their organisation.

As a statutory partner, the NHS is in a position to help identify and support any vulnerable individuals who may be being or at risk of being radicalised.

The National Safeguarding Steering Group has oversight of Prevent delivery across England via its safeguarding assurance processes.

Requirements for staff training

NHS England has set an 85% Basic Prevent Awareness training for all staff. Please see link for the NHS England (2017) Prevent Training and Competencies-Framework 

What to do if you have a concern about a patient, carer or a colleague

In you have concerns that a patient, service user, carer or member of staff may be at risk of being drawn into terrorism, has begun to express radical extremist views or may be vulnerable to grooming or exploitation by others, the primary point of contact will be Eve McGrath, Prevent Lead in the CCG who is also the Adult Designated Nurse for Safeguarding by email:

Contact details for referrals

  • London Borough of Havering
    The Prevent officer in Havering is PC Greig Tel: 07766 227 261.
  • London Borough of Barking and Dagenham
    For further information about the programme or if you have a query or concern, don't hesitate to contact us by emailing: or visit the website: 
  • London Borough of Redbridge
    Referrals are received from agencies such as schools and health. For more information please contact the Prevent Team by e-mail 

If there is risk of immediate harm or danger then you should contact the police on 999 or the Police Anti-Terrorist Hotline 0800 789 321

For further information visit website:

Useful websites and resources

Page last updated 30 April 2019