HOSPITALS in Worcestershire have dealt with fewer than 10 cases of female genital mutilation since April last year.

Rules requiring hospital trusts to report every case of the illegal practice they have seen have been in place since April 2014, with the most recent statistics showing 558 were reported in England in December 2014 alone.

But Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust accounts for fewer than ten of these.

Although the trust – which runs Worcestershire Royal Hospital, Kidderminster Hospital and Redditch’s Alexandra Hospital – was unable to provide an exact figure, a spokesman said it was “in single figures”.

But the practice seems to be much more prevalent in Birmingham, where the city’s Heartlands Hospital sees six new cases every week and 1,500 over the past five years.

Figures have shown 15 new cases are reported nationally every day, with 1,946 new cases since September, of which 47 involved girls younger than 18.

Head of a dedicated NSPCC helpline launched in 2013, which has since received 512 calls, John Cameron said: "These new figures indicate that female genital mutilation is a bigger problem in the UK than we thought and there are obviously children at risk of being subjected to this cruel and unnecessary practice right now.

"It's vital that all health professionals are trained to spot the signs and alert children's services if they think a child is at risk.

“Those victims who have already undergone this barbaric procedure also need help to overcome the trauma.”

The helpline can be contacted anonymously on 0800 028 3550 or via