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Known cases of female genital mutilation on the increase in England

There have been 3,963 newly reported FGM cases in just seven months

Almost 4,000 cases of female genital mutilation have been identified by NHS trusts in England in just seven months.

Data collected from 145 trusts in March by the Health and Social Care Information Centre show healthcare professionals saw 578 women who had undergone FGM, bringing the total to 3,963 since monthly collection of figures began in September 2014.

In March, 277 cases were identified by London trusts, 115 cases were recorded in the Midlands and east of England, while there were 127 in the north of England and 59 in the south.

The information centre’s definition of FGM refers to any removal of the clitoris or labia, the narrowing of the entrance to the vagina, or harmful procedures for non-medical purposes, including pricking, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterisation.

In February, the RCN published guidance for nurses and midwives on identifying and acting on cases of FGM.

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