Female Genital Mutilation

From 31 October 2015, healthcare professionals must report to the police any cases of female genital mutilation in girls under 18 that they come across in their work. 

There is no requirement for automatic referral of adult women with FGM to adult social services or the police.

The Home Office document Mandatory Reporting of Female Genital Mutilation – procedural information (October 2015) gives professionals subject to this duty an understanding of the legal requirements it places on them, a suggested process to follow, and an overview of the action which may be taken if they fail to comply with the duty.

The government has published a number of documents to support the introduction of this duty.


From 1 October 2015, it became mandatory for GP practices to submit FGM data to the HSCIC.  Submission to the FGM Enhanced Dataset is continuous with quarterly reporting, and only when FGM is identified or the woman or girl has had treatment relating to her FGM. Therefore, ‘nil’ reporting is not required. 

There is inevitably a substantial amount of personal and sensitive information that will be extracted as part of the dataset collection process.  This is mandatory as a result of the Direction issued by the Department of Health under the Health and Social Care Act and no consent is required for the dataset submission, although a patient can contact the HSCIC directly to raise an objection  the HSCIC states that such an objection will be automatically enforced and the patient’s data will be removed from the data set.

The HSCIC has published FAQs on the FGM Enhanced Dataset.

Information about entering data onto the HSCIC FGM Clinical Audit Platform is contained within the Operational Guidance.

FGM Enhanced Dataset Implementation Summary for GP Practices provides detailed information in readiness for the extension to GP practices of the FGM data collection.

Female Genital Mutilation Risk and Safeguarding (DoH March 2015) provides information about the specific issues frequently encountered when dealing with FGM.

Caring for Patients and Safeguarding Children (BMA July 2011)

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Updated on 22 September 2017


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