GPs must report female genital mutilation, says RCGP

GPs have 'a duty' to report suspected female genital mutilation (FGM) as child abuse to social services, according to the RCGP.

Dr Maureen Baker: UK lacks data on scale of FGM problem (Photo: RCGP)
Dr Maureen Baker: UK lacks data on scale of FGM problem (Photo: RCGP)

The RCGP has submitted written evidence to the Home Office Select Committee identifying FGM as 'child abuse' and called for it to be treated as a safeguarding issue.

They say GPs should be vigilant and 'aware of the symptoms, legal protocols and support networks for patients' to help secure better support for affected young girls and women.

Routine screening of young girls is, however, advised against in order to reduce any additional trauma and the alienation of hard-to-reach individuals and communities.

Instead, GPs should take advantage of a specific code for recording FGM and be aware of the kind of evidence they could collect to allow for the prosecution of other healthcare professionals performing the abuse.

Dr Maureen Baker, RCGP chairwoman, said: 'We have significant concerns over the lack of detailed data on the prevalence of FGM within the UK, as planning of services cannot be adequately undertaken without knowledge of the scale of the problem.

'The college has helped to draw up a number of resources on FGM for use within primary care, including a Statement on Female Genital Mutilation and a major report, Tackling FGM in the UK, which looks at the role that all health and social care professionals - including GPs - have in identifying and reporting cases of FGM.'

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Doctors are being 'taxed out of the NHS', warns BMA chair

Doctors are being 'taxed out of the NHS', warns BMA chair

The NHS risks being brought to a standstill because 'perverse and punitive pension...

Welsh GP contract deal delivers £25m funding boost and partner incentives

Welsh GP contract deal delivers £25m funding boost and partner incentives

GPs in Wales will receive a £25m increase in funding in 2019/20 as part of a new...

Elected BMA members to receive equality training after sexism investigation

Elected BMA members to receive equality training after sexism investigation

BMA chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul has promised that the association will 'learn, act and...

NHS Resolution moves to allay fears over state indemnity 'small print'

NHS Resolution moves to allay fears over state indemnity 'small print'

Information about GPs will only be passed to the GMC under 'very rare circumstances'...

BMA U-turn over sexism and harassment debate at annual conference

BMA U-turn over sexism and harassment debate at annual conference

Doctors' leaders will debate claims that the BMA fails to address sexism and harassment...

Doctors begin giving evidence in BMA sexism investigation

Doctors begin giving evidence in BMA sexism investigation

Doctors have started giving evidence as part of the investigation into sexism and...