Figures expose true extent of female genital mutilation
Data released by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) have revealed the number of female genital mutilation (FGM) cases recorded in England.
In September 2014, acute NHS hospital trusts logged 467 newly identified women being treated for FGM.
In addition to this, 1,279 female patients previously documented as being subjected to FGM were reported in the same month.
Chair of HSCIC, Kingsley Manning, said: “This is the first national collection of NHS data about numbers of FGM cases and we will continue to collect and publish these figures.
“Having accurate data about this crime is an important step in helping prevent its occurrence in the future. The information will support the Department of Health in their FGM prevention programme, and we hope to expand the dataset over time so that it provides a more complete picture across a wider variety of care settings.”
This is the first time data on the incidence of FGM has been published and of 160 hospital trusts in England, 125 returned results for September.
However, the data only covers the number of instances observed, recorded and reported by acute hospitals trusts.
Despite this, the one-of-a-kind publication is the first step towards understanding how many females are subject to FGM - which is a crime in the UK.
The monthly data collection sees hospitals submitting information including both the number of newly identified patients and the number of previously treated