20227 - Lyme Disease (Answered)

Mrs Anne Main
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many people in (a) St Albans, (b) Hertfordshire, (c) East of England and (d) the UK have Lyme disease; and what steps is he taking to better treat such people.

Jane Ellison

In 2014, there were 730 laboratory confirmed Lyme disease cases reported in England & Wales. The data submitted is at the level of referring hospital; it does not indicate either where the patient lived or where they were when they contracted the disease and is not recorded at county or regional level. Most Lyme disease cases are diagnosed clinically and treated by general practitioners (GPs).

The National Health Service provides treatment for Lyme disease following current international best practice, and Public Health England (PHE) have issued guidance notes for medical professionals aimed at improving recognition, as well as a referral pathway for GPs to follow to seek specialist help for patients who suffer complications from the disease. PHE are investigating the feasibility of creating a network of physicians to develop standardised investigation and treatment protocols for Lyme disease patients with the aim of improving outcomes.

With Liverpool University and partners internationally, the rare and imported pathogens laboratory is setting up a research programme into the diagnosis of Lyme disease.