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First ever annual statistical publication for FGM shows 5,700 newly recorded cases during 2015-16

21 July 2016: There were 5,700 (2) newly recorded (3) cases of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) reported in England during 2015-16, according to the first ever publication of annual statistics.

*HSCIC must be quoted as the source of these figures

*Regional figures are available

The FGM statistics4, published today by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), also showed that there were 8,660 total attendances5 in the same period where FGM was identified or a medical procedure for FGM was undertaken.

Women and girls born in Somalia account for more than one third (37 per cent or 810 cases) of newly recorded cases of FGM with a known country of birth. Of the total number of newly recorded cases, 43 involved women and girls who self-reported to have been born in the United Kingdom.

In 18 cases, the FGM was undertaken in the UK, including 11 women and girls who were also born in the UK. Where the nature of the UK procedures was known, around 10 were genital piercings6 (FGM Type 47 - piercing.)

The 5 to 9 year old age group was the most common age range at which FGM was undertaken. This equates to 43 per cent (582) of the total number of cases from any country, where the age at the time of undertaking was known.

Female Genital Mutilation Enhanced Dataset, April 2015 to March 2016, experimental statistics includes information gathered from acute trusts, mental health trusts, GP practices and community services within mental health trusts.

FGM has been illegal in the United Kingdom since 1985 and the law was strengthened in 2003 to prevent girls travelling from the UK and undergoing FGM abroad. It became mandatory for all acute trusts to collect and submit to the FGM Enhanced Dataset from 1 July 2015 and for all mental health trusts and GP practices, from 1 October 2015.

Today's report also shows:

  • 112 NHS trusts and 38 GP practices8 submitted one or more FGM attendance record in 2015-16. Submissions are only required when there is data to report.
  • More than half of all cases relate to women and girls from the London NHS Commissioning Region - 52 per cent (2,940) of newly recorded cases and 58 per cent (5,020) of total attendances.
  • Self-report was the most frequent method of FGM identification, accounting for 73 per cent (2,770) of cases where the FGM identification method was known.
  • 106 girls were reported as being aged under 18 at the time of their first attendance, comprising 2 per cent of all newly recorded cases.
  • 87 per cent (3,290) of women with a known pregnancy status were pregnant at the time of attendance.
  • 90 per cent (1,980) of women and girls with a known country of birth were born in an African country. This breaks down as follows - Eastern Africa 879 (54 per cent), Western Africa 414 (25 per cent) and Northern Africa 175 (11 per cent). 141 (6 per cent) were born in Asia9.
  • 145 deinfibulation10 procedures were reported. This procedure is often performed to facilitate delivery during childbirth.

Responsible statistician, Peter Knighton, said: "This is the first time that annual data have been collected and published to give an insight into the practice and prevalence of FGM in England. The resulting data will support the Department of Health's FGM Prevention Programme and improve the NHS response to FGM by raising awareness, enabling the provision of services and management of FGM, and safeguarding girls at risk."

You can read the full report at: http://www.hscic.gov.uk/pubs/fgm1516


ENDS

Notes to editors

1. The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) was established on April 1 2013 as an Executive Non Departmental Public Body (ENDPB). It is England's trusted data source, delivering high quality information and IT systems to drive better patient services, care and outcomes. Its work includes publishing more than 260 statistical publications annually; providing a range of specialist data services; managing informatics projects and programmes and developing and assuring national systems against appropriate contractual, clinical safety and information standards.

2. Figures over 1 million have been rounded to the nearest 10,000 and those over 100,000 have been rounded to the nearest 1,000. Figures under 100,000 have been rounded to the nearest 10. Figures under 1,000 are unrounded. Percentages are rounded to the nearest whole number.

3. Newly Recorded women and girls with FGM are those who have had their FGM information collected in the FGM Enhanced Dataset for the first time. This will include those identified as having FGM and those having treatment for their FGM. 'Newly recorded' does not necessarily mean that the attendance is the woman or girl's first attendance for FGM.

4. Data completeness varies from 22 to 100 per cent in the items discussed (see below). Data completeness also varies by submitter. Overall completeness for variables discussed: Date of Birth - 99.9 per cent known. Country of birth - 38 per cent known. Pregnancy status - 44 per cent known. FGM identification method - 67 per cent known. FGM type - 44 per cent known. Deinfibulation undertaken - 37 per cent known. Age range when FGM was undertaken - 24 per cent known. Country where FGM was undertaken - 22 per cent known. Both country of birth and FGM Type - 26 per cent known.

5. Total Attendances refers to all attendances in the reporting period where FGM was identified or a procedure for FGM was undertaken. Women and girls may have one or more attendances in the reporting period. This category includes both newly recorded and previously identified women and girls.

6. Figures for FGM Type 4 are rounded to the nearest 5 to prevent disclosure. For the remainder of UK cases, numbers were supressed and include unknown categories and Type 4 cases of an unspecified kind.

7. The four FGM Types defined by the World Health Organisation (http://www.who.int) are: Type 1: Partial or total removal of the clitoris and/or the prepuce (clitoridectomy). Type 2: Partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora, with or without excision of the labia majora (excision). Type 3: Narrowing of the vaginal orifice with creation of a covering seal by cutting and appositioning the labia minora and/or the labia majora, with or without excision of the clitoris (infibulation). Type 4: All other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, including pricking, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterization. While adult women may choose to have genital piercings, in some communities' girls are forced to have them. The World Health Organisation currently defines all female genital piercings as a form of FGM. The data item FGM Type 4 Qualifier allows users to specify that the FGM was a piercing. The FGM Enhanced Dataset includes two additional categories relating to FGM Type 3 and an Unknown value: History of Type 3: Current state where a woman or girl had FGM Type 3, but has since been deinfibulated. Type 3 - Reinfibulation Identified: Current state where a woman or girl has been closed previously, opened and is currently closed again. Unknown: When the FGM category could not be ascertained. It is acknowledged that even for experienced healthcare workers who frequently see women and girls with FGM it can still often be difficult to determine the type of FGM that had been undertaken.

8. In total 241 NHS trusts and 7,640 GP practices were active at the start of the reporting period (1 April 2015, using the Organisation Data Service (ODS) organisation reference tables, extracted 16 May 2016. http://systems.hscic.gov.uk/data/ods/datadownloads). There are 177 NHS trusts and 664 GP practices registered on the FGM Enhanced Dataset collection system, representing 73 per cent of active NHS trusts and 9 per cent of active GP practices.

9. Categories are based on the United Nations Statistical Division: Composition of macro geographical (continental) regions, geographical sub-regions, and selected economic and other groupings (revised 31 October 2013). http://unstats.un.org/unsd/methods/m49/m49regin.htm.  

10. Deinfibulation is the surgical procedure to open up the closed vagina of a woman or girl with FGM Type 3.

11. For media enquiries please contact media@hscic.gov.uk or 0300 303 3888.

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