Background/introduction Around 103,000 women aged 15–49 in England and Wales are living with the consequences of female genital mutilation (FGM), which has no clinical benefits and is illegal in the UK. Despite this, girls in some communities in the UK continue to have this procedure performed. Mandatory national reporting of FGM cases was introduced in September 2014 and support and safeguarding assessments are required.
Aim(s)/objectives To produce a clinic policy for appropriate assessment of women with FGM.
Methods GUM clinic staff worked with our trust FGM lead, local social services, community paediatric colleagues and support organisations to develop a policy for women with FGM. This incorporates both the mandatory reporting and safeguarding assessment.
Results A clinic proforma for assessing women with FGM was developed to enable clinic staff to follow the new policy. This was introduced following training in November 2014 and we have piloted it since then. To date this has been used to assess 6 women who had undergone FGM; all were black African and one was unaware that she had “been cut”. Three women had had type 3 FGM performed, two type 2 and one type 1. Four women reported symptoms as a result of FGM and five stated that they were “against” the procedure. No safeguarding issues were identified.
Discussion/conclusion Whilst implementing the mandatory reporting required for women who have been subjected to FGM, we have successfully developed and implemented a new policy to ensure that appropriate safeguarding assessments are made within the clinic.
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