Scottish Government Round-table Meeting on Lyme Disease: 14th April 2021

A Scottish government round-table discussion on Lyme disease took place on 14th April 2021 (10-11:30am).


Scottish Government policy makers:

  • Louise Whyte (Policy Manager - Environmental Health and Infectious Diseases, Scottish Government)
  • Laura McGlynn (Policy Officer, Scottish Government)

Scottish ID consultants:

  • Prof. Tom Evans (Consultant in Infectious Diseases, Professor in Molecular Microbiology - Glasgow Uni, Specialty Adviser on Infectious Diseases to the Chief Medical Officer, Scottish Government)
  • Claire McGoldrick (Consultant Physician in Infectious Diseases, Monklands Hospital, NHS Lanarkshire)
  • Sam Allen (Consultant Physician in Infectious Diseases, NHS Ayrshire)

Scottish Reference Lab:

Invited participants:

  • Prof. Jack Lambert (consultant, Dublin; trustee, Lyme Resource Centre)
  • Prof. Christian Perronne (consultant, Paris)
  • Prof. Gareth Tudor-Williams (consultant, London)
  • Dr. Anne Cruikshank (GP; RCGP Lyme champion for 2019-20 Spotlight project; co-author of RCGP Lyme toolkit)
  • Dr. Zahra Husain (GP; co-author of RCGP Lyme toolkit)
  • Arlene Brailey (pharmacist; trustee, Lyme Resource Centre)
  • Monica Wilde (herbalist, Bathgate)


  • Janey Cringean (trustee, Lyme Resource Centre) 
  • Lorraine Murray 


Key issues

Invited participants outlined the extent of the problem and key issues and Janey described the effect on patient experience. Key issues of prevention/public awareness, professional education, and the need for a 'National Plan for Tick-borne Diseases' were discussed. The Public Health Minister has already promised a public awareness campaign for 2021 and tick season is already upon us so questions were asked about why the campaign has not been started yet. It was agreed that professional education for GPs and pharmacists needs to be improved and ways to do that were discussed. The French National Plan for Tick-borne Diseases and the Canadian Federal Framework for Lyme Disease were discussed as possible models for a Scottish National Plan.

Testing, treatment and research were agreed as key issues but could not be covered in the time so it was requested that these be covered in the next meeting. However, we stated the need for research to understand the full range of tick-borne infections in Scotland and their effect on human health, including the complexities of polymicrobial infection, and requested research into persistent illness and optimal treatment. The issue of lack of patient representation was also discussed.

It will take time to persuade everyone of the extent of the issue and the persistence of infection, and there were no immediate answers, but there was a willingness to listen and a shared desire to improve things for patients. 

The meeting was not recorded but it was minuted. We are trying to find out if we can distribute those minutes publicly once they are distributed to participants. Further meetings are promised. 

We give huge heartfelt thanks to everyone who took part to allow patient issues to be brought to the attention of government.