Spotlight on Lyme disease

Lyme Disease Action (LDA) is really pleased to announce that once again it has the opportunity of developing real-world tools to support clinicians. In line with its core purpose to strive for “the prevention and treatment of Lyme disease and associated tick borne diseases”, LDA is co-funding a Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) “Spotlight Project”. Spotlight Projects run for a year, and each covers a specific area of work that is either complimentary to an existing clinical priority, or takes a prescriptive ‘awareness-raising’ approach.

Five years ago LDA co-authored and funded the RCGP e-learning course on Lyme disease, a project that continues to be supported by LDA. However this new, “Spotlight”, project will focus on raising the profile of Lyme disease in general practice and thereby increase awareness and improve patient outcomes. It aims to support primary care clinicians in developing clinical skills and expertise aimed at improving early recognition, diagnosis and treatment of the condition.

Dr Anne Cruikshank has been appointed by the RCGP as the Clinical Champion for this project. A General Practitioner with a long standing interest in Lyme disease, Dr Cruikshank has experience of managing Lyme disease within both primary care and a consultant-led Lyme disease Clinic. Dr Cruikshank will plan, implement and deliver the programme of work, in partnership with key stakeholders, to identify a selection of projects that seek to improve the quality of care to benefit patient outcomes.

The project aims to develop:

• a toolkit of resources for primary care

• regional seminars

• webinar, podcast and video

• baseline survey and evaluation of outcome at the end of the year.

LDA Medical Director Dr Sandra Pearson will sit on the project steering committee and will help develop educational material and content. Her time and that of Dr Cruikshank will not be charged to the project.

With its NHS-accredited reputation for robust science-based information LDA is pleased to have been included in this project, but this sort of work is expensive. LDA does not endorse products, or receive support from commercial sources. LDA has no paid staff and all its income goes into supporting its work: it depends entirely on its supporters and volunteers, and the finance they raise, to be able to engage in projects such as these.

LDA Chair, Stella Huyshe-Shires says:

“If the project goes well, and enough money can be found, it may be extended beyond this first year. LDA has committed a significant sum to partner in this project. If it is to deliver all the aims over the coming year we need to secure more donations and gifts. We will keep you informed with news as the project gets under way but, the more we can raise the more we can achieve. It’s as simple as that. Please give whatever you can.”