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New FGM measures launched to ‘care, protect, prevent’

Date:22 JUL 2014
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An FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) prevention programme has been launched by the Department of Health and NHS England at the Girl Summit.

The FGM Prevention Programme - backed by £1.4million - is funded through the largest ever domestic funding package for FGM and is designed to improve the way in which the NHS tackles FGM and clarify the role of health professionals which is to ‘care, protect, prevent’.

Public Health Minister, Jane Ellison said:

' FGM can completely devastate the lives of sufferers.

I am immensely proud of the work the government is doing to eradicate this dreadful practice. This will enhance the safeguarding responsibility of the NHS around FGM to care, protect and prevent.'

The range of measures launched by the Department of Health at the Girl Summit to tackle FGM include:
  • £1.4 funding to launch the FGM Prevention Programme;
  • introduction of improved data collection across the NHS to help understand the prevalence of FGM and in England;
  • improved training packages to enable frontline health workers respond appropriately in the face of FGM; and
  • work to clarify the safeguarding role of health professionals.
The programme of work focuses on prevention and care, with the ultimate aim to get a better response to FGM from the health services.

From April 2014, NHS hospitals were required to record if a patient has had FGM, if there is a family history of FGM, or if an FGM-related procedure has been carried out on a women - (deinfibulation).

By September this year, all acute hospitals must report the number of patients with FGM centrally to the Department of Health on a monthly basis. This was the first stage of a wider ranging programme of work in development to improve the way in which the NHS will respond to the health needs of girls and women who have suffered FGM and actively support prevention.

Speaking of the prevention programme, the Deputy Children's Commissioner said:

'The Office of the Children's Commissioner wholeheartedly supports important moves by the Government at the Girl Summit today to eradicate female genital mutilation and early forced marriage. It is great to see the UK showing leadership to the world in addressing these abhorrent forms of child abuse.

The Office of the Children's Commissioner is at the forefront of work to prevent children from being harmed by abuse. Our own national Inquiry into child sexual abuse in the family environment launched earlier this month is gathering evidence of the prevalence of early forced marriage in England. We will also be publishing evidence showing how it can best be stopped and the victims supported.'
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