The Impact of Terrorism Policies on Health and Social Care Practitioners in the UK

Haider, Sharif (2023). The Impact of Terrorism Policies on Health and Social Care Practitioners in the UK. In: Baikady, Rajendra; Sajid, S. M.; Przeperski, Jaroslaw; Nadesan, Varoshini; Islam, M. Rezaul and Gao, Jianguo eds. The Palgrave Handbook of Global Social Problems. Palgrave Macmillan.



Like other countries, the UK has been wrestling with the issue of how to prevent and eradicate radicalisation and terrorist attacks. In response to attacks on the British mainland, numerous acts of parliament were introduced such as the Civil Contingencies Act 2004, the Counterterrorism and Security Act 2015 and the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, all of which aim to provide counter-terrorism powers and offensive capabilities. The British government has also introduced a counter-terrorism strategy named CONTEST (HM Government, 2011) that consists of several strands aimed at preventing people from becoming radicalised and being drawn into terrorism. All the literature on radicalisation and human services indicates that the government’s agenda on prevention of the former does not sit comfortably with health and social care practitioners’ values, nor does it allow for engagement and the building of relationships with individuals and families. It is also true, however, that these practitioners are in the right place to support the government’s aim of working with vulnerable people at risk of radicalisation and to help such people access appropriate services. The question therefore is how they should fulfil their roles in order to provide high-quality services. This chapter sheds light on this matter, focusing on the effect of the UK government’s terrorism strategy on health and social care practitioners. It critically analyses the literature, reviews empirical research findings and proposes further research in the area of terrorism and human services.

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