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Doctors must legally report FGM cases to police

20 October 2015

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GPs, along with other health professionals, will have to tell police about cases of female genital mutilation from 31 October 2015, it was announced today.

The duty applies to all regulated professionals working within health or social care, and teachers, therefore all doctors who are regulated under the General Medical Council.

Doctors must report ‘known’ cases of FGM in under 18s. ‘Known’ cases are those where a girl has told the nurse that an act of FGM – however described – has been carried out on her or where the person observes physical signs. Suspected or at-risk cases do not need to be reported.

If this is the case, “the legislation requires regulated health and social care professionals and teachers in England and Wales to make a report to the police”, the guidance reads.

The report can be made orally or in writing as soon as possible, however best practice is to report it by the end of the following working day.

It must include your name, contact details, and when you will be available to contact, as well as the name and contact details of your organisations safeguarding lead, and the girls name, age, and address.

If a parent, guardian, sibling or other individual discloses that a girl under 18 has had FGM, the duty does not apply and a report to the police is not mandatory.

See the full guidance here