Lyme Disease Spotlight Project

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi and transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected tick.  It is endemic in the UK, is increasing in incidence and is the most common vector-borne disease in the northern hemisphere. Whilst early recognition and treatment lead to resolution of illness for many patients, late or missed diagnosis may result in persistent, debilitating symptoms which may be difficult to manage.

This Spotlight Project focuses on raising the profile of Lyme disease in General Practice and thereby increasing awareness and improving patient outcomes. It will support primary care clinicians in developing clinical skills and expertise aimed at improving early recognition, diagnosis and treatment of the condition. The project will seek ways to augment the current system of recording only laboratory-confirmed cases by promoting an effective primary care response and enhanced clinical surveillance. 

Aims of the project

The project aims to provide information which is comprehensive and ‘primary care focused’, thereby supporting primary care teams in delivering optimal medical care and high quality patient education.
It will acknowledge the difficulties faced by clinicians in light of the diversity of clinical presentations and genuine scientific uncertainties surrounding both diagnosis and treatment.  

The project will cover the recommendations of the NICE guideline on Lyme disease which acknowledges the need for organisations to raise awareness of Lyme disease and to identify a lead within each organisation. 

Key outputs 

The RCGP Lyme disease toolkit. The Toolkit has been developed for clinicians, though patients and the general population may find it helpful. 

RCGP/LDA e-learning module. Freely available to all UK clinical staff (0.5 CPD points). 

Baseline survey report.

Podcast

Upcoming events

29 October, Cambridge 

Lyme Disease, Syncope, PoTS and IBD - easily missed diagnoses - FREE EVENT 

The RCGP is delighted to invite you to attend a one day workshop focusing on the diagnosis and management of several 'easily missed' conditions.This workshop will explore the challenges faced by clinicians when detecting, investigating, treating and supporting patients with multisystemic, often non-specific, symptoms resulting from Inflammatory bowel disease,  cardiovascular syncope, PoTS or  Lyme disease. 

Further GP workshops to be scheduled

Forthcoming work

To find out more, please get in touch via circ@rcgp.org.uk

Clinical team 

 Dr Anne Cruikshank

Anne is the RCGP Clinical Champion for Lyme disease.  She is a GP in Oxfordshire and has a long standing personal and professional interest in Lyme disease. She has experience of managing Lyme disease within both general practice and a consultant-led Lyme disease clinic.Whilst acknowledging the complexities of diagnosis and treatment, she recognises that well informed primary care clinicians hold the key to early diagnosis and the prevention of long term complications.

 

 

 

The clinical team is supported by Sandra Pearson, the medical director of Lyme Disease Action, and a wider steering group comprised of NHS infectious diseases consultants, general practitioners and patient representatives. 

This project has been made possible by the generous support of the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Educational Foundation, Inc. And Lyme Disease Action.

 

 

 

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