CCGs will from today be required by law to act to prevent terror radicalisation, including spotting signs of radicalisation.
The ‘Prevent duty’, introduced as part of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, requires health bodies as well as schools, local authorities, prisons and police to have ‘due regard to preventing people from being drawn into terrorism’.
The duty will mean that the health sector should ensure that training is provided to frontline staff to ensure that, where there are signs that someone has been or is being drawn into terrorism, the healthcare worker can interpret those signs correctly and is aware of and can locate support for them, the Home Office said.
The Home Office has told Pulse that the duty does not extend to GP practices.
However, as Pulse reported last year, NHS England sent guidance to practices in light of the Prevent duty which said they would have to appoint a counter-terrorism lead in order to apply for enhanced services. At the time, GP leaders warned this was a ‘totally pointless gimmick’.
Security minister John Hayes said: ‘We have seen all too starkly and tragically the dangers of radicalisation and the devastating impact it can have on individuals, families and communities. The new Prevent duty is about protecting people from the poisonous and pernicious influence of extremist ideas that are used to legitimise terrorism.
‘Protecting those who are vulnerable and at risk of radicalisation needs to be a job for all of us. The new duty will make sure key bodies across the country play their part and work in partnership.’
Updated 14:30, 1 July 2015. This story originally said that the duty directly applied to GP practices. This is not the case. Apologies for confusion caused.