I have been contacted by constituents regarding the About Time for Lyme campaign.
I sympathise with anyone affected by Lyme disease and I pay tribute to the work undertaken by organisations such as Lyme Disease UK and Lyme Disease Action to raise awareness of the condition and the importance of early diagnosis and treatment.
I am aware that the About Time for Lyme campaign has organised a meeting in Parliament to press for change in the awareness, diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease. I understand that this meeting will provide an opportunity for MPs to hear the views of clinicians, patients and others who have been affected by the disease.
Unfortunately I was unable to attend the event on 8 February 2017 due to other parliamentary business.
I am aware that on 10 May 2016 the Government announced three separate reviews into the diagnosis, treatment and transmission of Lyme disease. The Department of Health is expected to publish the findings at the end of 2017. The Government has also announced that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) will develop new evidence-based guidelines for the care of Lyme disease which will be published in 2018.
It is important that the Government continues to look carefully at the latest evidence base to ensure that best practice on Lyme disease is being implemented and I look forward to the publication of these reviews and the new NICE guidelines.
Lyme disease is an important issue to tackle at any time but when we have such financial pressures on the NHS it becomes even more important to avoid the long term complications that it can cause if left untreated.