Lyme Disease

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 11th March 2019.

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Photo of Laurence Robertson Laurence Robertson Conservative, Tewkesbury

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of advances in the abilities of medical practitioners to diagnose Lyme Disease; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Laurence Robertson Laurence Robertson Conservative, Tewkesbury

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what training is given to medical practitioners to enable them to (a) recognise the symptoms of and (b) treat Lyme Disease; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Steve Brine Steve Brine The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

Holding answer received on 11 March 2019

Individual medical schools set undergraduate medical training curricula and the relevant Royal Colleges set postgraduate medical training curricula which have to meet the standards set by the General Medical Council. Curricula should emphasise the skills and approaches that a doctor must develop in order to ensure accurate and timely diagnoses and treatment plans for their patients.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published updated guidance in 2018 on the diagnoses and management of Lyme disease, which can be found at the following link:

https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng95

The guidance aims to raise awareness of when Lyme disease should be suspected and ensure that people have prompt and consistent diagnosis and treatment. NICE’s guidelines help health and care professionals deliver the best possible care based on the best available evidence. The guidelines are not mandatory, although health and care commissioners are expected to take them fully into account. In addition, in February 2019, NICE published the following article at the following link:

https://www.nice.org.uk/news/article/diagnose-lyme-disease-if-bull-s-eye-rash-is-present-says-nice

Public Health England published guidance on Lyme disease in July 2018, which describes the clinical signs and symptoms of Lyme disease and is consistent with the NICE guidance. The guidance can be found at the folloiwng link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/lyme-disease-guidance-data-and-analysis

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