In the first initiative of its kind, nursing and medical students at a university in the West Midlands are to receive training to help them recognise signs of radicalisation.
The University of Wolverhampton will be working with the National Counter Terrorism Unit and the NHS to deliver the “prevent” training as part of the curriculum.
“They will be able to recognise the vulnerabilities that could leave people susceptible to radicalisation”
Prevent is part of the government counter-terrorism strategy and aims to reduce the threat to the UK from terrorism by stopping people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.
It is focused on providing support and re-direction to individuals at risk of, or in the process of being groomed or radicalised into terrorist activity before any crime is committed.
Wolverhampton is the first university to provide this training to students before they go into health related placements.
University lecturers and other members of staff completed the first Workshop to Raise Awareness of Prevent (WRAP3) training recently. The trained staff members will start to deliver the programme to students before Christmas.
Steve Baggott, the university’s operational prevent lead, said: “We are the first university in the country to link up with the NHS to deliver this as a programme on the curriculum.
“It will be delivered to any student who will be going on placements in the health sector,” he said. “This is a huge opportunity.”
Mr Baggott added: “I am sure the staff who will be trained to deliver the WRAP3 programme will find it very rewarding.
“Providing prevent training to students who will be going on to work in the health sector can make real difference to people’s lives,” he said. “They will be able to recognise the vulnerabilities that could leave people susceptible to radicalisation.”
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Hilary Garratt, director of nursing in NHS England and deputy chief nursing officer for England, said it was “great” to see the university working closely with the NHS to further develop the safeguarding capabilities of their nursing students through prevent training.
“All health staff play an important role in safeguarding service users, which includes the prevention of radicalisation of the most vulnerable individuals who may be at risk of exploitation,” she said.
WRAP is a specialist workshop, designed by HM Government to give participants an understanding of the prevent strategy.
It focuses on the ability to use existing expertise and professional judgment to recognise the vulnerable individuals who may need support.
The workshop also covers local safeguarding and referral mechanisms and people to contact for further help and advice.