Recent terrorist events have highlighted the need for people to be constantly on their guard against extremists. The UK Government has placed a statutory duty on NHS Boards to try to prevent people being drawn into extremism and a number of measures have now been put in place across NHS Forth Valley. So what are we doing, and how can you play a part in keeping colleagues and patients safe?
Unfortunately it’s a fact of life that extremists often target and radicalise vulnerable people and they represent a sizeable section of our patient groups.
So what do you look out for?
The following signs may indicate that someone is being radicalised
- Accessing extremist material online including through social networking sites
- Use of extremist or hate terms to exclude others or incite violence
- Evidence of literature, leaflets or artwork promoting violent extremist messages or organisations
- Requesting unusual patterns of leave such as urgent/unplanned leave
- Patients voicing opinions drawn from extremist ideologies
- Parental/family reports of changes in behaviour, friendships or actions, and requests for assistance
- Fascination with violence, weapons and uniforms
These signs shouldn’t be viewed in isolation; use your judgement to determine whether you feel any out-of-the-ordinary behaviour could be a threat. And if you do believe someone may be at risk, flag up your concerns, discussing them initially with your line manager. If there is an immediate risk or threat then contact Police Scotland on 999.
The new campaign is based on four strands, often known as the four P’s – Pursue, Prevent, Protect and Prepare. The PREVENT programme within NHS Forth Valley complements our existing work alongside child and adult protection, hate incidents and HR policy frameworks.
Some staff, dependent on role, will complete a Prevent e-learning module available on LearnPro which outlines our responsibilities in protecting vulnerable patients and staff.
Others will also complete a Home Office core awareness-training product which is being delivered locally – Workshop to Raise Awareness of Prevent (WRAP) to help recognise warning signs.