profwarwickAll midwives and healthcare professionals in England and Wales now face a mandatory duty to report known and suspected cases of female genital mutilation (FGM) in girls under 18 to the police.

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has worked closely with the Department of Health, NHS England and other Royal Colleges to develop resources for staff, so that they understand their responsibilities in relation to mandatory reporting and how they can best support other survivors of FGM for whom the duty does not apply.

Commenting on the new duty RCM chief executive Cathy Warwick said: "The Intercollegiate recommendations for identifying, recording and reporting FGM called for health professionals to report incidences of FGM. The RCM is pleased that the Department of Health is taking steps to ensure that midwives and other healthcare professionals are supported with resources to raise their awareness of their duty to report all cases of FGM in girls under 18.

"Providing appropriate care for survivors, rigorous data collection, and now legislation making mandatory reporting of all cases of known FGM in girls under the age of eighteen is crucial to tackling FGM in the UK and abroad."

The mandatory reporting duty is in addition to other measures - Parental Liability for FGM and FGM protection orders that were introduced earlier this year to coincide with the start of the school summer holidays in the UK.

Download a copy of Tackling FGM in the UK – Intercollegiate recommendations for identifying, recording and reporting at: www.rcm.org.uk/sites/default/files/FGM_Report.pdf