30 April 2014
(London, UK) CAGE has published the first-ever account of an NHS counter-terrorism training session. The testimony was written by a healthcare professional who approached CAGE after becoming concerned that she was being asked to inform on her patients.
The training forms part of the controversial PREVENT strategy, which the government says is designed to fight terrorism but which has been labelled as draconian and discriminatory by members of the Muslim community.
The author who has decided to withhold their name, said: ‘It really did feel as though PREVENT was being forced upon us regardless of whether it made sense or not.’ The author also detected a racial undertone to the training when the presenter mentioned the racial profile of typical terrorists. ‘This would have made it clear to participants the sorts of people they would need to be looking out for – basically, Arabs, Blacks and Asians.’
With 1.3 million NHS employees having contact with over 315,000 patients daily, the government has taken steps to ensure that training is rolled out right across the NHS. It has been estimated that at least 44,000 healthcare professionals have now undertaken PREVENT training.
Dr Adnan Siddiqui, a General Practitioner and a Director of CAGE, said:
"It is unfortunate that this revelation proves our contention that NHS PREVENT counter-terrorism training is based on the worst aspects of racial and religious stereotyping. The security services have effectively entered our consultation rooms under the guise of national security, thereby compromising patient confidentiality, by asserting that "opposition to UK foreign policy and mistrust of western media" makes one vulnerable to radicalisation.”
“Terrorism is not a disease and requires a political remedy not a medical one and it is imperative that our health care leaders challenge this policy before we become unwitting members of the security services and responsible for the ideological health of the country.”
1. CAGE (formerly known as CagePrisoners) is an independent advocacy organisation that works to empower communities affected by the War on Terror and to highlight abuses of prisoners’ rights.
2. The full account can be found here: https://cage.ngo/article/my-nhs-counter-terrorism-training-session
3. PREVENT is a core the element of the UK governments counter-terrorism strategy. Our report explains the overall strategy and its all-encompassing nature: http://cageuk.org/report.pdf
4. For further information on how counter terrorism programme is being introduced into the NHS, please follow these links:
a. Episode of The Stream where Dr Adnan Siddiqui participates in the discussion around PREVENT and the NHS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_Me1SKBSlg
b. A report on the subject that appeared in Al Jazeera English: https://cage.ngo/article/uk-uses-health-workers-counter-terror-plan
c. A report that appeared in The Pulse: https://cage.ngo/article/gps-told-specify-counter-terrorism-lead-when-applying-enhanced-services-contracts
Contact: Mr Amandla Thomas-Johnson
Phone: +(44) 207 377 6700
27 Old Gloucester Street
(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)