Doctors have been asked to undergo specialist training to spot terrorists [GETTY: Pic posed by models]
The new policy, issued by NHS England to all health authorities, states that GP practices must train a “lead” member of staff to recognise patients who could become or have become linked to terror groups.
Under the new rules, if a GP practice fails to send a member of staff on the “Prevent” counter terrorism course, part of their funding will be cut.
The policy, outlined in a letter from NHS England to all clinical commissioning groups, which buy health services, has outraged GP leaders.
It is effectively asking GPs to be a government intelligence agency
Dr Maureen Baker, chairwoman of the Royal College of General Practitioners
Doctors have also warned that it could threaten patient trust if doctors are being asked to report back to the authorities.
Dr Maureen Baker, chairwoman of the Royal College of General Practitioners, said: “This seems to be a totally inappropriate use of GP time which could be better spent looking after patients.
"It is completely disproportionate and a poor use of GP resources and time. It is effectively asking GPs to be a government intelligence agency.”
An NHS England spokesman said: “Work on the Prevent strategy is being incorporated into NHS England’s mainstream safeguarding work.
"We are assisted by people who have the specific expertise to help us do this and they lead on training, supporting and clinical practice development of existing safeguarding leads, managers and frontline staff.”