Department of Health Reviews

In May 2016 the NHS Chief Scientist agreed with John Caudwell that he would commission 3 reviews and the Minister David Mowat said in parliament: “The Department of Health has commissioned three separate reviews on the diagnosis, treatment and transmission of Lyme disease. The work will be carried out by the epicentre of University College and be clinically driven and evidence-based, and it will be published in late 2017.”

If this work had been carried out, it would in large part have duplicated the work being carried out by NICE as part of the Guideline process, so it seemed a complete waste of public money. Happily, this has been realised and the focus of the reviews changed to something more useful.

The work is still being carried out by the UCL ePPICentre but the project now entails the conduct of a systematic evidence map and three systematic reviews as follows:-

  1. Evidence map: A comprehensive systematic map describing the nature and extent of the international research evidence on Lyme disease in humans.
  2. Systematic review relating to incidence and prevalence: A review of evidence from the UK and other European countries to examine i) the nature of surveillance systems used to track Lyme disease and ii) the extent of Lyme disease in the UK and other European countries.
  3. Systematic review of stakeholder views about diagnosis: a qualitative evidence synthesis of research on patient, practitioner and researcher perspectives on the diagnosis of Lyme disease.
  4. Systematic review of evidence concerning prevention approaches: A review of evidence on a range of prevention interventions to determine the nature of evaluated prevention efforts, their effectiveness and their applicability to the UK context.

The researchers are consulting with a wide range of stakeholders, including patient groups and clinicians to ensure that the outcome reflects what is important in the UK. This promises to be a much more useful exercise than the original proposal.

The group expects to report their findings in the autumn.