Sandwell and West Birmingham professionals unite to tackle FGM

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Organisations in Sandwell and West Birmingham are gathering together for an annual safeguarding conference on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) to share experiences and best practice in tackling this important issue. The Conference, hosted by NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham Commissioning Group (CCG,) is being held on 8 March at the Bethel Convention Centre, Kelvin Way, West Bromwich.

FGM professionals from health, social care, police and community groups will be meeting to share best practice and ideas. Provider organisations which support survivors of FGM will also be in attendance to showcase the services across Sandwell and West Birmingham.

Speakers at the Conference include an FGM survivor, a specialist FGM midwife and experts from NHS England, West Midlands Police, Barnardo’s and the National FGM Centre.

Female genital mutilation (FGM), also known as female circumcision or female genital cutting, is illegal in the UK and is a form of child abuse. There are no health benefits and it harms women’s health in many ways. FGM involves removing healthy female genital tissue, and interferes with the natural function of the female body.

Marie Kelly, Lead for Domestic Abuse, Assistant Designated Nurse for Safeguarding at NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG, said:

“This conference is an ideal opportunity for professionals to increase their expertise and continue to take positive action to help prevent FGM happening to girls in our area.

“We continue to play a leading role in raising awareness of the complications for women’s health issues associated with FGM. Key organisations are all working together to put a stop to FGM, and the Sandwell Stopping FGM Forum has launched a joint FGM policy for both safeguarding adults and children. We train professionals, work with community groups that are affected, and campaign to help, safeguard and protect women and girls who have undergone this procedure.

“Last year over 150 members of the Sandwell and West Birmingham community attended a successful health and wellbeing community event which helped to raise awareness of FGM. Young people from across Birmingham also came together on 30 June 2017, led by local singer Yaz Alexander, for a flash mob at Birmingham New Street station. They sang Katie Perry’s ‘Roar’, to add their strength and support to help end FGM.”

“We have now introduced FGM into a small cohort of schools for teachers to deliver in year 5 & 6 which has been developed in Birmingham and benchmarked by Ofsted as outstanding practice.”

For further information about the conference, please contact the CCG’s safeguarding team on 0121 612 2015 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.