What is the new duty to report regarding female genital mutilation, who does it apply to, and what do practitioners in primary care have to do to comply with it?

Q

What is the new duty to report regarding female genital mutilation, who does it apply to, and what do practitioners in primary care have to do to comply with it?

A

From 31 October 2015, healthcare professionals have been required to alert the police if they treat a girl under 18 who has undergone female genital mutilation (FGM).

The duty applies in England and Wales and is set out in Mandatory Reporting of Female Genital Mutilation – procedural information, published by the Home Office.

FGM refers to any procedure that alters or injures the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. It is a form of abuse and is against the law in the UK. Studies suggest that as many as 137,000 women in England and Wales may be victims.

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