Four new e-learning sessions have been released to support practice nurses in tackling FGM.
These modules include developing communication skills for FGM consultations, legal issues and recognising signs in children and young people, and pregnant women. Another e-learning tool about reporting FGM will be released in the future.
Vanessa Lodge, the director of nursing for North Central and East London, said that these extensions to the FGM prevention programme were crucial for practice nurses. 'It's very important because practice nurses come into contact with women who have FGM quite regularly through the work they do. In particular with smear tests and contraception advice, and the conversations and relationships they build with patients. That's why they are a really important target audience for e-learning packages.'
Ms Lodge says that the most relevant e-learning tool for practice nurses will be about having difficult conversations with patients that may be at risk of FGM. The programme contains video clips outlining the ways nurses can raise difficult topics 'and will help with all the communication skills nurses worry about with this subject,' said Ms Lodge.
The e-learning was developed by HEE to ensure that there was up to date training for all clinicians. They are free to access from the HEE website.
GP practices are also now required to submit FGM prevalence data to the NHS.
From April 2015, GP practices are expected to submit monthly information through an IT system that can be accessed on the HSCIC website.
The FGM Enhanced Dataset Information Standard instructs all clinicians to record into clinical notes when a patient with FGM is identified and what type it is.
It has been mandatory for acute settings to record cases of FGM since September 2014, with reports released every month by the HSCIC.
The extension to GP practices and mental health trusts from this year is part of the DH's FGM Prevention Programme. GP practices will have to register on the Clinical Audit Platform system to submit their information.
As part of the programme two more documents have been published online to help healthcare professionals communicate with women and girls they believe to be at risk of FGM. The two documents are about safeguarding and commissioning services to support women and girls with FGM. These two documents can be found on the DH website.