There are a number of specialist National Health Service clinics nationally that will treat women with Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). The services offered by these clinics vary and provide a range of procedures including de-infibulation, counselling and other services specifically for girls and women affected by FGM. Most are run by specially trained doctors, nurses or midwives who understand FGM and are able to treat some of the medical problems caused by it.
With regards to guidance for women seeking care in areas with no dedicated FGM clinic, it is for clinical commissioning groups to commission appropriate local services for the health needs of their populations.
There is a range of research around the clinical provision for FGM, both nationally and internationally. The Department is aware of research, for example around both reconstructive surgery and de-infibulation. As these and other evidence bases develop, we will consider what outcomes the research might offer within the context of the NHS. Currently the focus of our FGM health work remains on prevention.
With regard to joint working between general practitioner (GP) practices and hospitals which run FGM clinics, these relationships should be the same as the relationships between any other GP and hospital FGM services whether in maternity, gynaecology or any other setting related to FGM or otherwise. The FGM Enhanced Dataset specification Standardisation Committee for Care Information (SCCI) 2026 and other guidance materials, where appropriate, also contain information in relation to the data which should be exchanged between GPs and any clinic in relation to FGM.
The Department does not hold information on the locations or opening dates of clinics to deal with FGM. NHS England holds details about the number and location of specialist NHS FGM services nationally - currently there are 13 FGM clinics of which eight are located in London.
With regards to information on the categories of clinic, the FGM Enhanced Dataset supports the Department’s FGM Prevention Programme by presenting a national picture of the prevalence of FGM in England. Data is collected by healthcare providers in England, including acute hospital providers, mental health providers and GP practices.
Treatment Function Code is collected within the Enhanced Dataset. This is recorded to report the specialised service within which the patient is treated.
The most recent, annual report from the FGM Enhanced Dataset was published on 4 July 2017. A copy is available at the following link:
It reported on attendances in the NHS between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2017. A known Treatment Function Code was recorded for only 59% of total attendances. The most common treatment functions associated with the identification and treatment of FGM in this period were within midwifery services, obstetrics, mental health recovery and rehabilitation services and gynaecology.
A full list of treatment function codes is available in the NHS Data Dictionary, which are available at the following link: