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Community pharmacy “not looking to be involved” in FGM


20 Feb 2015

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society is “not looking to be a part of” tackling female genital mutilation (FGM).

The stance comes in response to the news training and support around FGM must be given to nurses by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN).

“As far as we know there is no role [for a pharmacist] to prevent FGM happening,” said a RPS spokesperson.

“All pharmacists have a role in safeguarding children and would follow previous guidance on safeguarding children if it was bought to their attention a child was at risk of FGM during a consultation in a pharmacy,” they said.

Nurses and midwives have received updated guidance on FGM from the Royal College of Nursing (RCN).

Information sharing across health and social care services and educating the public ands health care workers has been encouraged by the RCN.

More than 1.5m has been announced for the next stage of a FGM prevention programme by the Department of Health (DH) to “bring about an end” to FGM.

A new national system will allow clinicians to record if they believe children are at risk of FGM as well a mandatory recording requirements of GPs and mental health trusts to record FGM incidence by October 2015.

A specialised team of social workers with “extensive experience” of working with those “at risk” of FGM will be established in 10 areas across the country to change attitude and behaviour towards prevention of FGM. It is supported by a £2m national programme, which has the backing of the Local Government Association and Barnados.

A “crucial” role will be played by these prevention programmes to protect vulnerable females in the community, said children and families minister, Edward Timpson.

It will also provide support to victims as well as preventing further crimes by working directly with the community,” he said

Many nurses and midwives were unaware of their legal and professional duties to report FGM, said director of nursing at the RCN, Janet Davies.

“Everyone must know that FGM is abuse and must be treated as such. This guidance makes clear that if nurses and midwives suspect that a woman or child is at risk, they should act as they would with any suspected abuse.

“There is also an onus on employers and the Government to set out what is expected of health and social care staff, and to provide all the education and training they need to carry out their responsibilities in this area.

“Nurses, midwives and other health care staff are well placed to help protect women and girls from this deplorable abuse, but need strong support and thorough training to do so.”

The government are “committed” to ending the “brutal practise of FGM in one generation,” said public health minister, Jane Ellison.

“The measures announced will help the NHS fulfil its duty to care for women who have had FGM, protect them and their daughters from further harm and prevent girls from being mutilated.”


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