Fort Wil­liam GP de­vel­ops guide­lines for faster di­ag­noses of Lyme dis­ease

The Oban Times - - News -

A FORT WIL­LIAM medic has de­vel­oped guide­lines to help fel­low health pro­fes­sion­als di­ag­nose and treat Lyme dis­ease faster.

Dr James Dou­glas led a cam­paign to cap­ture in­ci­dences of tick bites across Lochaber along­side col­leagues from pri­mary care and out- of-hours ser­vices, as well as the Belford Hospi­tal’s ac­ci­dent and emer­gency depart­ment.

The gen­eral prac­ti­tioner, who works at Tweedale Med­i­cal Prac­tice, said the in­for­ma­tion will be use­ful across Scot­land.

He ex­plained: ‘The data cap­ture study in Lochaber is aim­ing to give us a much more ac­cu­rate rate in one area.

‘The in­for­ma­tion will be use­ful in Scot­land and the rest of the UK for plan­ning the NHS re­sponse to Lyme dis­ease.’

He added: ‘This is a great ex­am­ple of col­leagues in pri­mary and se­condary care work­ing to­gether on a project of mu­tual con­cern, and of the new GP clus­ters work­ing on a sub­ject of huge pub­lic in­ter­est here in Lochaber.

‘The guide­lines will not only in­form col­leagues of how to promptly di­ag­nose a tick bite and Lyme dis­ease, but im­prove cod­ing in­for­ma­tion for ad­mis­sions to hospi­tal and pre­ven­tion ad­vice.

‘ We are also work­ing closely with Health Pro­tec­tion Scot­land on pub­lic in­for­ma­tion and the Forestry Com­mis­sion on oc­cu­pa­tional in­for­ma­tion, in­clud­ing a video with case stud­ies to high­light why pre­ven­tion of Lyme dis­ease is so im­por­tant.’

Dr Dou­glas has long cam­paigned for greater aware­ness of Lyme dis­ease and last year he pro­duced a video to demon­strate how to re­move a tick safely us­ing a spe­cial plas­tic tick re­moval de­vice.

The GP said he would en­cour­age ev­ery­one to con­tinue to use the great out­doors but take pre­cau­tions.

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