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Shrinking school nursing workforce 'hampering efforts to tackle FGM'

Shrinking school nursing numbers and workforce pressures are hampering efforts to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM).
sad girl

Cuts to school nursing numbers and workforce pressures are hampering efforts to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM).

The RCN highlighted the difficulty in response to a report by MPs today labelling the failure to tackle FGM a ‘national scandal’.

'Beyond belief'

The Home Affairs Select Committee said it was ‘beyond belief’ that there had been no prosecutions for FGM in the 30 years since it became illegal in the UK.

MPs expressed alarm that some staff were ignoring the mandatory duty, which came into effect last October, and stipulates that nurses, midwives, doctors and teachers must report all FGM incidences.

The committee called for stronger sanctions for those who fail to meet their reporting responsibility.

Too much paperwork

The report follows a review published this week by the children's comissioner for England, which found that school nurses were

Cuts to school nursing numbers and workforce pressures are hampering efforts to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM).

The RCN highlighted the difficulty in response to a report by MPs today labelling the failure to tackle FGM a ‘national scandal’.

'Beyond belief' 

The Home Affairs Select Committee said it was ‘beyond belief’ that there had been no prosecutions for FGM in the 30 years since it became illegal in the UK.

MPs expressed alarm that some staff were ignoring the mandatory duty, which came into effect last October, and stipulates that nurses, midwives, doctors and teachers must report all FGM incidences.

The committee called for stronger sanctions for those who fail to meet their reporting responsibility.

Too much paperwork 

The report follows a review published this week by the children's comissioner for England, which found that school nurses were spending too much time on paperwork and potentially missing cases of neglect or abuse.

In August, the RCN highlighted how school nursing numbers had fallen by 13% since 2010. This means there are now 2,606 school nurses left in England, compared with 2,995 in 2010.

RCN professional lead midwifery and women’s health Carmel Bagness said: 'School nurses have a vital role to play in educating children and young women about FGM’s perils and spotting those who may be at risk.

'But cuts to their numbers and workforce pressures are affecting their ability to tackle the issue at grassroots and leave the vulnerable exposed.'


Further information

‘School nurses could overlook abuse due to paperwork burden’

Warning over school nurse numbers

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