In the first official dataset of its kind in England, the Health & Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) found 1,746 women and girls were treated in acute NHS hospital trusts in England for FGM.
Of these 467 patients were newly identified as having been subjected to FGM, meaning they had received no treatment prior to September 2014. Over half of the patients were treated in London.
The data, which will be updated monthly, forms a part of the crackdown on the practice by understanding how many females have been subjected to it.
“Having accurate data about this crime is an important step in helping prevent its occurrence in the future,” said Kingsley Manning, chair of the HSCIC. “The information will support the Department of Health in their FGM prevention programme, and we hope to expand the dataset over time so that it provides a more complete picture across a wider variety of care settings.”
However the HSCIC noted that there are limitations to the data, which was collected by acute hospital trusts, including the possibility of double counting if an individual is seen by more than one trust.