Female genital mutilation: thousands of girls and women treated in London hospitals

The figures come after the Home Affairs Select Committee launched an inquiry into FGM in December 2013.

Almost 4,000 women have been treated in London for injuries caused by female genital mutilation (FGM) since 2009, it has been revealed.

Figures obtained by BBC London follow a report published by health experts last year that warned the UK’s health and social care system was “failing” young girls who were at risk of undergoing FGM – a practice classed as torture by the United Nations.

Of the 41 NHS hospital trusts in the capital, 31 responded to the BBC's Freedom of Information request. The statistics released show that 3,939 FGM patients had been treated in London, with the most at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust where 1,146 victims were seen by staff.

St George's Healthcare NHS Trust cared for 795 patients, the BBC reported.

Six of the girls treated were under the age of 18.

Ealing Hospital NHS Trust treated 633 patients, while The Whittington Health NHS Trust cared for 493 patients.

Dr Phoebe Abe, a GP in the west-London borough of Hillingdon, runs a free weekly FGM clinic where she is currently treating 60 women, eight of whom are under 17.

"These women have adhesions, vaginal infections, pelvic inflammatory infections, urine infections - for years they have been having this problems," she told the BBC.

The report from experts at the Royal College of Midwives, the Royal College of Nursing, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, human rights organisation Equality Now and union Unite, said there were “gaps in responsiveness” in the health and social care system to addressing FGM.

It added that more needed to be done in the UK to safeguard young girls and babies at risk from the procedure.

Other problems it flagged up included officials not knowing who to tell if they suspected FGM had been carried out, and social services staff dropping the issue because they did not feel as though FGM lay within their remit.

There was no accountability in performance of health and social care workers and a lack of consistent data about the issue, it also warned.

There have been no prosecutions for FGM, even though it has been banned in the UK since 1985.

In December, the Home Affairs Select Committee launched an inquiry into the practice.

Launching the inquiry, committee chair Keith Vaz, said: "It is shocking that 28 years on from female genital mutilation first being made a criminal offence, there has not yet been a successful prosecution in the UK.

"The committee's inquiry will seek to find out why this is the case, as well as considering what more needs to be done to protect at risk girls," he said.

Additional reporting by PA

Read more: A survivor’s journey after female genital mutilation
Doctors accused of failing to report suspected cases FGM
Convictions for female genital mutilation. France: 100. UK: Nil
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
News
The 67P/CG comet as seen from the Philae lander
scienceThe most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Ian McKellen as Gandalf in The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies
film
Sport
football
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Koenig, creator of popular podcast Serial, which is to be broadcast by the BBC
tvReview: The secret to the programme's success is that it allows its audience to play detective
News
Ruby Wax has previously written about her mental health problems in her book Sane New World
people
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £60,000

£25000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Recruitment Genius: Care Workers Required - The London Borough of Bromley

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This homecare agency is based in Beckenh...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

£25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

£25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas