‘Midwives key frontline professionals who can identify FGM says RCM’
Today NHS Digital have published the latest enhanced dataset on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
The data collected is from July to September 2019 and supports the Department of Health’s FGM prevention programme presenting a national picture of the prevalence FGM in England.
Responding, Janet Fyle Professional Policy Advisor at the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) said; “In just three months there where almost 2,000 women and girls who had undergone FGM cared for and supported by midwives and other healthcare professionals, this number alone shows how prevalent FGM is.
“There were 940 newly identified cases of FGM and compared with the same quarter in 2018 there has only been a small decrease in cases recorded which is disappointing and shows there is a need to do more to tackle this.
"What is alarming is that there where fifteen cases recorded in British girls under the age of eighteen years and this is truly shocking.
“We are failing British born children if we do not tackle what is essentially a crime against children It has to start from within communities where this practice is sometimes seen as a cultural norm despite it being illegal here in the UK. We must step up our efforts and be clear to those who carry out FGM on girls and women that we will not tolerate such abuses.
“Midwives are one of the key frontline healthcare professionals who can identify and prevent female genital mutilation, due to the fact that most survivors of FGM are usually identified when they are pregnant, but all healthcare professionals must remain vigilant in identifying girls at risk.
“We must also ensure there are psychological support services in place and accessible, particularly services for non-pregnant survivors. Unfortunately, there is an uneven spread of services across both the north and south of England which makes it difficult to identify and safeguard girls at risk of FGM
“NHS England must invest in providing these support services for FGM survivors, because for many, finding place to talk to someone about this abuse and getting support is the first step to recovery”
“The RCM has recently launched a new e-learning network for specialist midwives and key frontline professionals. We have also developed i-learn tutorials, along with practical advice and support to enable midwives to continue to identify and provide support for survivors and most importantly to work with other health and social care professionals to safeguard girls at risk of FGM here in the UK.”
Female Genital Mutilation July-September 2019
To contact the RCM Media Relations Team, call 020 7312 3456 or email [email protected].
The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at https://www.rcm.org.uk/.