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Ministers from across government have pushed through tough new measures to stop the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM), making it mandatory for all NHS hospitals to provide information on patients who have undergone FGM.
From April this year NHS hospitals will be required to record:
1 If a patient has had FGM
2 If there is a family history of FGM
3 If an FGM-related procedure has been carried out on a women - (deinfibulation)
By September this year, all acute hospitals must report this data centrally to the Department of Health on a monthly basis.
"In order to combat it and ensure we can care properly for the girls and women who have undergone mutilation we need to build a more accurate nationwide picture of the challenge. This is the first step towards doing that," said Public Health Minister, Jane Ellison.
The director of public prosecutions has insisted the Crown Prosecution Service is "raising its game" over prosecution against female genital mutilation.
Alison Saunders told The TImes the CPS is "stepping up" what they are doing, including looking at evidence secured by covert surveillance to avoid children having to testify in court.
Doctors are still failing to report suspected cases of female genital mutilation (FGM) to the police, a senior Scotland Yard officer has warned.
Detective Superintendent Jason Ashwood, head of Scotland Yard's FGM team, told The Times that young girls who are at risk of or are recovering from cutting are being let down because "professionals" in the public sector are not safeguarding children.
The latest figures suggest that as many as 66,000 women in England and Wales have undergone FGM and 23,000 girls under the age of 15 are "at risk".
His calls for tougher action mark the United Nation's annual day of zero tolerance to FGM.
Latest ITV News reports
ITV News Central has been told girls from the UK are being taken abroad to be genitally mutilated - a practice which is against the law.
Here, female genital mutilation victims, working to end the practice, share their stories.