Keeping our mouths shut: the fear and racialized self-censorship of British healthcare professionals in PREVENT training

Younis, Tarek ORCID logoORCID: and Jadhav, Sushrut ORCID logoORCID: (2019) Keeping our mouths shut: the fear and racialized self-censorship of British healthcare professionals in PREVENT training. Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry, 43 (3) . pp. 404-424. ISSN 0165-005X [Article] (doi:10.1007/s11013-019-09629-6)

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The PREVENT policy introduced a duty for British health professionals to identify and report patients they suspect may be vulnerable towards radicalisa- tion. Research on PREVENT’s impact in healthcare is scant, especially on the lived experiences of staff. This study examined individual interviews with 16 critical National Health Service (NHS) professionals who participated in mandatory PRE- VENT counter-radicalisation training, half of whom are Muslims. Results reveal two themes underlying the self-censorship healthcare staff. The first theme is fear, which critical NHS staff experienced as a result of the political and moral subscript underlying PREVENT training: the ‘good’ position is to accept the PREVENT duty, and the ‘bad’ position is to reject it. This fear is experienced more acutely by British Muslim healthcare staff. The second theme relates to the structures which extend beyond PREVENT but nonetheless contribute to self-censorship: distrustful settings in which the gaze of unknown colleagues stifles personal expression; reluctant trainers who admit PREVENT may be unethical but nonetheless relinquish responsibility from the act of training; and socio-political conditions affecting the NHS which overwhelm staff with other concerns. This paper argues that counter- terrorism within healthcare settings may reveal racist structures which dispropor- tionality impact British Muslims, and raises questions regarding freedom of conscience.

Item Type: Article
Keywords (uncontrolled): United Kingdom, PREVENT, Self-censorship, Healthcare professional, Racism, Radicalisation, Muslims
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology > Qualitative and Mixed Methods Research group
Item ID: 29566
Notes on copyright: © The Author(s) 2019. Open Access.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
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Depositing User: Tarek Younis
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2020 14:28
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2022 10:36

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