The NHS has recorded more than 14,000 new cases of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) over the past two years, new data reveals.
NHS Digital today released the new quarterly statistics on FGM covering the period from July to September this year.
They revealed that 1,760 women and girls were identified as having suffered FGM — a slight decrease on the previous quarter. These include 15 cases involving girls under the age of 18, and 20 where the procedure was undertaken in the UK.
It also revealed that from Quarter 2 2015 to Quarter 3 2017 there were 14,250 newly recorded cases of FGM.
Responding to the new figures, Cllr Anita Lower, deputy chair of the Safer and Stronger Communities Board at the Local Government Association (LGA) and chair of the Advisory Board for the National FGM Centre, said the drop in numbers was ‘encouraging’ but warned more had to be done.
‘It is vital that health trusts and GP practices continue to submit FGM data to help build reliable and accurate figures reflecting the prevalence of FGM across the country,’ Cllr Lower said.
‘In the areas where the National FGM Centre is working, social work provision to girls and families affected by FGM has been quickly and significantly improved through the intervention of the Centre’s social workers, who are embedded in council safeguarding teams.
‘Hundreds of referrals have been received in areas that previously only recorded a handful of cases each year.
‘The Centre’s pioneering prevention and intervention work is having an effective impact on reducing FGM by modelling good practice, sharing expert knowledge and building trusting relationships with families and communities with which they are engaged.’
For more on FGM and what councils can do to fight it read our feature, ‘Tackling FGM at the local level.’