RCM welcomes launch of FGM clinics

The RCM has welcomed the launch of network of eight FGM support clinics across England.

The move comes from NHS England as almost 1,000 women and girls were identified as having been affected FGM in the last three months.

The development of these specialists services are part of the NHS Long Term Plan and will offer a range of services to women over the the age of 18 years old.

The eight clinics, located in Leeds, Birmingham, Brent, Waltham Forest, Croydon, Hammersmith, Tower Hamlets and Bristol, will be staffed by a multi-disciplinary team of specialist midwives, nurses and doctors, specially trained counsellors and health advocates.

The RCM continues to support survivors and midwives and in June this year the RCM launched an e-network for specialist midwives and other professionals working on the frontline to tackle FGM and support survivors of FGM.

RCM policy adviser Janet Fyle MBE said: “Midwives and other healthcare professionals are very often the first to identify and begin to offer care and support to survivors of FGM when they are pregnant and present to NHS maternity services.

“The clinics are very much needed and the RCM supports the launch of these specialist services in areas where there is a high prevalence of FGM cases identified in women and girls.

“Importantly the new clinics will be within community settings and this will enable women to self refer and access the support they need privately.

“We are moving in the right direction, but we must continue to raise awareness amongst key health professionals and need more specialist practitioners with the expertise to do deinfibulation and to ensure survivors of FGM have access to appropriate specialist counselling services.

“From today the count down begins in terms of funding and we hope that these vital services continue to be commissioned as part of the NHS commissioning process.

“We look forward to working with the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England along with survivors to further develop these essential support services for survivors of FGM where and when needed across the UK.

“The work that we do is of course not possible without the network of survivors, FGM campaigners and advocates that we work closely with and the RCM sincerely thanks them for collaborating and informing our work.”

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