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:
- £1.4m funding to launch the FGM prevention programme
- introduction of improved data collection across the NHS to help understand the prevalence of FGM in England
- improved training packages to enable frontline health workers to respond appropriately in the face of FGM
- 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 to the Department of Health on a monthly basis. This was the first stage of a wider ranging programme of work 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.