Friendly new community clinic for women in London affected by female genital mutilation

18 September 2019

A new community-based clinic for women over 18 years old in London who are affected by female genital mutilation (FGM) is opening its doors at a medical centre in Chingford. The new clinic is one of six new community-based clinics being launched nationally offering a range of support services to women including assessments and treatment, counselling, advocacy and safeguarding, as well as onward referral to a specialist consultant where required. 

The new community clinic is for all adult women affected by FGM, and can be used by women from across London, including anyone who lives, works or studies in Barking and Dagenham, Havering or Redbridge. They just need to ring up, email or walk in to make an appointment. 

The Waha Clinic is a landmark community service provided jointly by Whipps Cross Hospital (Barts Health NHS Trust) and community mediators from Women’s Health and Family Services. The national pilot was launched by NHS England, and the development of the local service was facilitated by Waltham Forest Clinical Commissioning Group 

This new clinic is an addition to the care that Whipps Cross Hospital already provides for both pregnant and non-pregnant women affected by FGM, including walk-in de-infibulation and cervical screening. The hospital’s team achieved the first UK court conviction against FGM. Their service has been described as outstanding by the Care Quality Commission and has won major national awards. 

Dr Reeba Oliver, a Barts Health NHS Trust Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist who provides care at the clinic said, “FGM has serious health consequences that go into adulthood. There are long-term emotional, psychological and physical effects from the damage caused by FGM. I strongly encourage women to come and use our services. They will be treated with support, dignity and understanding.” 

Dr Sabeena Pheerunggee, Clinical Lead for Safeguarding at NHS Waltham Forest Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) who is involved in the pilot and a local GP, said: “The opening of this clinic will allow us to provide support and care to FGM survivors in an environment designed to meet their needs.

“For many of these women, coming forward to explain what happened to them can be an extremely difficult and trying experience. The clinic is called Waha, which is Arabic for Oasis, and I hope women will feel a sense of relief when they come here.” 

Women can refer themselves by phoning 020 8430 7020 or emailing bartshealth.fgmwhipps@nhs.net. Alternatively, their GP can refer them as can their hospital consultant if they are seeing one.

Clinics for women affected by female genital mutilation 

You can just walk in, phone or email to make an appointment

Phone: 020 8430 7020 Email: bartshealth.fgmwhipps@nhs.net

Alternatively, your GP can refer you as can your hospital consultant if you are seeing one. 

Chingway FGM Clinic
Chingway Medical Centre
7 Ching Way, London E4 8YD

Fridays, every two weeks from 20 September 10am to 4pm 

Whipps Cross Hospital FGM Walk-In Clinic for non-pregnant women
Perineal Clinic
Area A
Outpatients building
Whipps Cross Hospital
Leytonstone, London E11 1NR

Last Monday morning of every month, 9am to 12noon 

Whipps Cross Hospital Lotus FGM Clinic for pregnant women
Antenatal clinic
Maternity building
Whipps Cross Hospital
Leytonstone, London E11 1NR

Last Wednesday afternoon of every month, 2 to 5pm