RCM supports the launch of vital network of specialist FGM clinics
*Over the last three months in the UK almost 1,000 women and girls were identified as having been affected by Female Genital Mutilation(FGM) and today NHS England have launched a network of eight FGM support clinics across Birmingham, Bristol, London and Leeds.
The development of these specialists services are part of the NHS Long Term Plan and will offer a range of services to women over the the age of 18 years old.
The eight clinics opening are located in the following area Leeds, Birmingham, Brent, Waltham Forest, Croydon, Hammersmith, Tower Hamlets and Bristol
The clinics will be staffed by a multi-disciplinary team of specialist midwives, nurses and doctors, specially trained counsellors and health advocates.
The RCM continues to support survivors and midwives and in June this year the RCM launched a e-network* for specialist midwives and other professionals working on the frontline to tackle FGM and support survivors of FGM.
The RCM today is supporting the launch of the new FGM specialist clinics today and continues to work closely with FGM survivors , specialist FGM midwives, the Department of Health, RCOG, Barnardo’s, The Metropolitan Police and various safeguarding services across NHS England to tackle FGM here in the UK.
Commenting, Janet Fyle MBE and Professional Policy Advisor at the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) said; “Midwives and other healthcare professionals are very often the first to identify and begin to offer care and support to survivors of FGM when they are pregnant and present to NHS maternity services.
“The clinics are very much needed and the RCM supports the launch of these specialist services in areas where there is a high prevalence of FGM cases identified in women and girls.
“Importantly the new clinics will be within community settings and this will enable women to self refer and access the support they need privately.
“We are moving in the right direction, but we must continue to raise awareness amongst key health professionals and need more specialist practitioners with the expertise to do deinfibulation and to ensure survivors of FGM have access to appropriate specialist counselling services.
“From today the count down begins in terms of funding and we hope that these vital services continue to be commissioned as part of the NHS commissioning process.
“We look forward to working with the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England along with survivors to further develop these essential support services for survivors of FGM where and when needed across the UK.
“The work that we do is of course not possible without the network of survivors, FGM campaigners and advocates that we work closely with and the RCM sincerely thanks them for collaborating and informing our work.”