Historic victims of female genital mutilation offered help through Sheffield support services

Twelve historic cases of female genital mutilation are discussed every month in Sheffield.

Tuesday, 28th January 2020, 11:45 am
Updated Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 12:44 pm

There is no record of any female genital mutilation (FGM) taking place in Sheffield but NHS staff support victims of historic abuse.

All baby girls born to mothers who have been FGM victims now have their health records automatically flagged at birth as being at risk.

The aim is to help spot potential future issues and educate the girls on the illegal practise. Adult women are also risk assessed as to whether there is potential risk of further abuse by partners, especially after they have given birth.

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There is no record of any female genital mutilation taking place in Sheffield but NHS staff support victims of historic abuse

Monthly FGM panels meet looking at referals and women at risk, flagged up by midwives, the police and social care.

A report by Sheffield Safeguarding Children Board says: “On average 12 cases are discussed each month.

“NHS England has implemented an automatic FGM information sharing system and Sheffield Teaching Hospital went live on this system in 2018.

“Now all female infants born to mothers who have been victims of FGM have their primary care health records automatically flagged at birth as being at risk.

“This will help identify potential future issues and opportunities to educate the girls on the illegalities.

“There is guidance on risk assessing adult women due to the potential risk of further abuse by partners especially post-delivery of infants.”

A council spokesman said: “The average of 12 cases discussed are adult women who have had FGM historically which has been identified after presenting at maternity services.

“There have been no cases of FGM being carried out in Sheffield that any agency is aware of.”

Sheffield has produced a leaflet for midwives to give to victims when they are seen in hospital which tells them where they can get support.

Advice and support about FGM is available from GPs but anyone in immediate danger should contact police on 999. Pregnant women who have had FGM can get support through the maternity department.

A national clinic supports women aged over 18 who are not pregnant. It can be contacted by calling 07824 580 988 or emailing [email protected]