FGM Mandatory Reporting Requirements
Chiropractors must report female genital mutilation cases
A new mandatory duty to report female genital mutilation (FGM) cases to the police came into effect in England and Wales on 31 October 2015. It applies to all registered healthcare professionals, including chiropractors.
The new duty applies where a chiropractor, in the course of their work, either:
- is informed directly by a girl that an act of FGM has been carried out on her, or
- observes physical signs which appear to show an act of FGM has been carried out and has no reason to believe that the act was necessary for the girl’s physical or mental health or for purposes connected with labour or birth.
The duty applies only to girls who are under 18 at the time that FGM is observed or disclosed. It does not apply if the health professional only suspects that FGM may have been carried out.
Chiropractors should familiarise themselves with the government's guidance on the new duty
which includes FAQs and a process map on how the new duty fits with existing safeguarding arrangements.
A range of resources to help health professionals comply with the new duty is available from the Government's website
Under the legislation, failure to comply with the new duty may result in an investigation of your fitness to practise.
The new duty is limited to the specific circumstances described above. However, in complying with the Standards, you should continue to take into account their wider safeguarding responsibilities, whether in relation to FGM or any other forms of abuse.
1. Who does the duty apply to?
All registered healthcare professionals and social workers in England and Wales. This includes all chiropractors registered with the GCC.
2. Who does the duty relate to?
Any girl under the age of 18 who you observe to have had FGM or who tells you that she has been subject to FGM.
3. How do I make a report?
By calling the non-emergency number for the Police (101). The government's guidance
tells you what information you will need to give
4. When should I report it?
As soon as possible, but by the end of the next working day at the latest. For information on exceptions to this, please see the guidance.
5. What about chiropractors practising in Scotland and Northern Ireland?
Although the mandatory duty does not apply, you should still follow your local safeguarding procedures.
6. Where can I find out more information?
You can find some useful information on the Government's website.
This information includes information on what you need to do, a training package and a leaflet for patients.
The government's guidance on the new duty includes FAQs and a process map on how the new duty fits with existing safeguarding arrangements.
Information on the situation in Scotland can be found on the Scottish Government's website.