The Royal College of Nursing has published the third edition of its guidance for nurses and midwives on female genital mutilation (FGM).
The guidance calls on employers to ensure all staff have comprehensive training and support to tackle the practice.
It also highlights some of the ways to tackle FGM including better information sharing across health and social care services and continuing to raise awareness of the issue.
Carmel Bagness, professional lead for midwifery and women’s health at the RCN, said: 'In recent years there has been a real consensus that more needs to be done to tackle FGM and protect some of the most vulnerable members of society.
'The legal and professional responsibilities of nurses and midwives have changed, and our latest guidance will bring healthcare staff up to date, making it clear what they can do to protect their patients.
“There is also an onus on employers to provide all the education and training they need to carry out their responsibilities in this area. Nurses, midwives and other healthcare staff are well placed to help protect women and girls from this deplorable abuse, but need strong support and thorough training to do so.'