Hospital staff are reminding the community about support for victims of female genital mutilation (FGM) following the UK's first conviction.

A mother found guilty of FGM against her young daughter was jailed for 13 years on Friday (March 8)

The 37-year-old woman from Walthamstow who cannot be named, was found guilty of FGM under Section 1 of the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003, on Friday, February 1, at the Old Bailey after a two-and-a-half week trial.

It was the first ever FGM conviction in the UK secured after a long and complex Met Police investigation.

She was sentenced at the same court to 11 years’ imprisonment with a further two years added to her sentence for possessing indecent images and extreme pornography.

At Whipps Cross Hospital a dedicated team provide a walk-in service with staff who are specifically trained in caring for women who have experienced being cut.

The team provides 'dignified and supportive' care to women who are experiencing symptoms, as well as to women who are pregnant and those wishing to have a cervical smear test.

Mental health support, information and advice is also available.

Consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at Barts Health NHS Trust who runs the clinics Reeba Oliver said: "We offer a specialist service for FGM survivors, particularly those who avoid having a cervical screening test because of the fear that a vaginal examination evokes due to the psychological trauma they have experienced.

"FGM has serious health consequences that go into adulthood; there are long-term emotional, psychological and physical effects from the damage caused. I strongly encourage women in the borough to use the service where they will be treated with support, dignity and understanding."

The clinic is run by Barts Health NHS Trust, Waltham Forest CCG and Waltham Forest Council and includes a specialist gynaecologist, midwife, psycho-social practitioner, a sample taker and access to interpreters.

Cllr Naheed Asghar, Cabinet Member for Health and Voluntary Sector Partnerships, said: "FGM has been illegal in our country for more than 30 years. It is a barbaric and outdated practice that has no place in the 21st century. It’s shocking and saddening to see young women undergo this harmful procedure and carry its horrific effects for the rest of their lives.

"This is the first conviction for FGM in the UK, but too often those who perpetrate this kind of abuse go unpunished. I’m urging everyone in the community who knows someone who is at risk of undergoing this damaging practice to report it - you could save a young girl from a life sentence.

"Help is available in for those who have undergone FGM and for those who are at risk, such as the cervical screening clinic at Whipps Cross that offers a specialist service for FGM survivors. No one should have to suffer in silence so do not hesitate to come forward and seek support."

The walk-in clinic is held on the final Monday of each month from 9am to 12pm at the Perineal Clinic, Area A, Outpatients building, Whipps Cross Hospital, Leytonstone, London E11 1NR.

If you know someone who you believe to be at immediate risk of FGM, call 999 immediately. If you have concerns about the welfare of any young person, or you have information about FGM-related offending, you can call police or the NSPCC FGM Helpline on 0800 028 355