NHS figures reveal 20 female genital mutilation cases were reported in Bromley this year
PUBLISHED: 14:27 05 July 2017 | UPDATED: 14:27 05 July 2017
Bromley's clinical commissioning group has highlighted a number of strategies to tackle the problem
Cases of female genital mutilation in the borough have frozen since last year, as the country sees a nationwide rise in the illegal practice.
Figures from NHS Digital reveal there have been 20 cases of FGM reported to Bromley’s healthcare providers, the same as 2015/2016’s figures, the first to be collected since it became mandatory for trusts to submit figures on cases.
FGM has been illegal in the UK since 1985, and in 2003 the law was strengthened to try and stop girls being taken out of the country and having the procedure.
Figures reveal 88 per cent of cases recorded this year were in women born from African countries, 53 per cent from the east of the continent, while seven per cent were born in Asia.
London has been highlighted as making up nearly half of all reported cases, but compared to other boroughs, Bromley remains comparatively low, with Greenwich recording 160 cases and 350 in Southwark.
Chair of Bromley Safeguarding Children Board, Jim Gamble, said: “This is an issue we take extremely seriously and just last month it was the focus of scrutiny at the board.
“We are now engaging in further partnership work to quality assure, test and improve our systems.”
In November last year, Bromley Safeguarding Adults Board and NHS Bromley Clinical Commission Group, which organises health care in the borough, launched the Domestic Violence Against Women and Girls strategy, which highlights the importance of tackling FGM.
A spokesperson from NHS Bromley CCG said: “A multi-agency intervention framework is used to identify, assess and respond to cases of FGM in Bromley. This is a joint protocol with the Bromley Safeguarding Adult Board and covers both children and women who are at risk of or have undergone FGM.
“It includes a clear FGM referral and care pathway so that when cases are discovered, the appropriate action is taken.
“We are totally committed to working with our partners in Bromley to ensure that early help and intervention is provided to enable and support women and children and reduce the prevalence of FGM.
“As part of the Building a Better Bromley programme, the Atlas Team has been established to focus on tackling child sexual exploitation and achieving the best possible outcomes for children and young people. The team will be responsible for FGM cases.”