To ask Her Majesty’s Government what information, advice and training is provided to doctors and nurses on the symptoms and treatment of Lyme disease; what advice is provided to general practitioners on the reference to specialists of patients exhibiting symptoms of Lyme disease; and which centres provide specialist treatment for that disease.
Public Health England (PHE) and the National Health Service have detailed information on the recognition, diagnosis, treatment and management of Lyme disease. PHE has also written a guide on how to refer patients for specialist advice, which is attached. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence also has an online guide for general practitioners (GP) and other health professionals.
PHE issues a letter to all GPs on an annual basis at the beginning of the tick season describing Lyme disease and highlighting the need to be aware and to recognise the condition. The majority of cases are managed by GPs without reference to specialists, but problem cases can be referred to neurology, rheumatology, cardiology and infectious disease clinics depending on the local provision and of services and patient’s symptoms. In addition to the attached guidance, Suggested referral pathway for patients with symptoms related to Lyme disease, PHE offers a telephone helpline for GPs and consultants to discuss particular cases. PHE works closely with the patient group Lyme Disease Action, who will also represent individuals who have trouble obtaining specialist advice, and can thus help in suggesting potential routes of referral.