RCGP supports Day of Zero Tolerance on Female Genital Mutilation

Publication date: 06 February 2016

Dr Maureen Baker, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: “Female Genital Mutilation is a horrific crime with serious, long-term health implications for thousands of girls and women around the world, including here in the UK.

“It is shocking that such a crime is still very much present in the 21st century.

“As the largest medical Royal College representing over 50,000 family doctors, the RCGP supports the ambitions around this Day of Zero Tolerance in raising society’s awareness of this crime.

“The College recognises FGM as child abuse and as such, something that should be dealt with as a safeguarding issue through social services, not the police.

“We remain concerned that mandatory reporting to the police might deter patients and their families from seeking medical help if they are concerned signs of FGM will be found, and could damage the important relationship between doctor and patient that is built on trust and confidentiality.

“It is important that all GPs are aware of the symptoms, legal and safeguarding protocols and support networks that are available for patients who have endured FGM. 

“We have worked with the NSPCC to develop a toolkit for health professionals on safeguarding children and young people, including advice of relevance to cases of FGM.

“The College would welcome opportunities for training and raising awareness amongst GPs and their teams, as well as a multi-agency approach to better support the young girls and women affected.”

Further Information

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7574/7575
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659
press@rcgp.org.uk

Notes to editor

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 52,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.

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