2017 has been a busy year for Lyme disease in Parliament so far.
In February, About Time for Lyme helped to organise a drop-in meeting for MPs and members of the House of Lords in Parliament. The meeting had a very impressive turnout and it was so encouraging to see that so many MPs and Peers were aware of the increasing risk Lyme disease is posing across the UK and the urgent need for action. As a result of this meeting, which followed a successful initial meeting last September, an All Party Parliamentary Group is currently in the process of being formed.
In June, the House of Lords bore witness to a groundbreaking speech about the potentially serious risks and consequences of Lyme disease, by Lord Astor of Hever, whose daughter suffers from Lyme disease. It was an honour for us to have the opportunity to contribute to this.
In July, About Time for Lyme acted as a stakeholder in the Government Lyme disease Review process, which was set up to contribute to and complement the development of the NICE guidelines on Lyme disease.
The reviews, which have been commissioned by the Department of Health, are being undertaken by an independent collaboration between EPPI-Centre (Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Co-ordinating Centre), at the UCL Institute of Educaiton, CRD (Centre for Reviews and Dissemination) at York University and PIRU (Policy Innovation Research Unit) at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The review process will include the creation of an Evidence map and three systematic reviews of research relating to: incidence and prevalence, stakeholder views on research about diagnosis, and evidence concerning approaches to prevention.
Our meeting with the research team went very well and we were encouraged by the breadth of evidence they were looking at, as well as listening to the views of a variety of stakeholders with experience in the area, whether personal or in their capacity as a Lyme disease organisation. We will, of course, be sharing the outcomes of this review process, and those of the NICE guidelines process, as they unfold.