'Doctors and nurses are being trained to monitor terminally ill people and dementia patients and their visitors for signs of radicalisation as part of the government’s Prevent scheme, the Guardian has learned.
A senior NHS whistleblower who works on the programme said that its operations in the health system were so indiscriminate that she had carried out the training in hospices and said that she knew of other trainers who had operated in dementia wards.
“I have personally delivered this training in a hospice,” the whistleblower said. “The training requires staff to monitor and judge the thoughts and actions of a specific group of people and even refer them to the police without their knowledge.”
Criticising Prevent’s operation in the NHS more broadly, she said: “Patients who don’t trust their doctor or nurse may not seek advice from them, which could be potentially life threatening. Prevent moves people’s focus away from care, treatment and support into areas that are police business: counter-terrorism and surveillance.”
The revelations prompted criticisms from Labour that deradicalisation programmes had no place monitoring the terminally ill.
Hospice and dementia services have been caught under a blanket application of Prevent across the NHS. The disclosures will raise fresh questions over the credibility of the programme, which is designed to identify individuals who hold radical views before they commit a crime. It imposes a duty on public bodies to report any concerns that people with whom they come into contact could be drawn into terrorism.'
Read more: Hospice staff ‘trained to report dying patients as part of terror strategy’
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