The aim of the UK CONTEST strategy is to reduce the risk to the UK and its interests overseas from terrorism, so that people can go about their lives freely and with confidence.

PREVENT – stopping people from supporting violent extremism and becoming terrorists is one of four separate strands to the CONTEST strategy. The other elements are:

  • Pursue – stop terrorist attacks from happening

  • Protect – strengthen overall protection against terrorist attacks

  • Prepare – where we cannot stop an attack, mitigate its impact

The specific PREVENT objective that relate to healthcare services is safeguarding and supporting those at most risk of radicalisation through early intervention, identifying them and offering support.

The NHS is complex; a trusted brand with many interconnected parts:

Anyone of these contact points can be the trigger that allows someone to voice concerns about someone who may be at risk of being radicalised. Or it can be the moment when these diligent staff notice something which indicates that someone may be on a pathway to an extremist mindset.

Prevent does not require the health sector to do anything new - we are already required to safeguard vulnerable individuals from exploitation. It’s about being alert to any concerning behaviours, trusting your professional instinct and voicing your concerns.