Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is child abuse and illegal. Regulated health and social care professionals and teachers are required now to report cases of FGM in girls under 18s which they identify in the course of their professional work to the police.
Reporting FGM Where FGM is identified in NHS patients, it is now mandatory to record this in the patient’s health record. Since September 2014, all acute trusts are required to provide a monthly report to the Department of Health on the number of patients who have had FGM or who have a family history of FGM. This information will be anonymous and no personal confidential data will be shared as a result of the information collection.
Health professionals in acute trusts should always update a patient record with whatever discussions or actions have been taken. If the patient has undergone FGM, referral to a specialist FGM clinic should always be considered. If you refer a patient to social services or the police, then this should also be recorded in the patient’s health record. If a patient is identified as being at risk of FGM, then this information must be shared with the GP and health visitor, as part of safeguarding actions.
How can I prepare?
The safety of the girl or others at risk of harm is the priority. You should report ASAP with the same urgency as for all other safeguarding cases. If you believe reporting would lead to risk of serious harm to the child or anyone else, contact your designated safeguarding lead for advice; you may need longer to take action, in exceptional circumstances.
A full support pack is available here www.gov.uk/government/publications/ fgm-mandatory-reporting-in-healthcare