Resources for local authorities and government organisations
A range of publications and resources are included here for use by those with responsibility for population health and organisations (like local councils) with a duty of care towards those within their geographical areas . This often takes the form of providing information on signage, websites or newsletters on how the public can enjoy the outdoors on grasslands, country parks or coastal paths whilst protecting themselves from the possibility of tick-borne disease.
You can see examples of the posters, leaflets and outdoor signs with QR code information on ticks and Lyme disease that LRC has developed in conjunction with councils and outdoor organisations.
The Lyme Resource Centre has partnered with Fife and West Lothian local authorities on signage projects and are seeking to establish further partnerships with local authorities in Scotland to increase the spread of the signs across local authority managed parks which are popular with the public. Efforts continue to encourage local authorities to engage with this initiative, however there are varying priorities for resources among local authorities at this time. We are seeking to influence Scottish Government Policy by engaging with MSP’s to encourage local authorities in Scotland to make this signage initiative a priority.
Lyme disease is monitored in England and Wales through routine surveillance. It is not a notifiable disease. The number of cases diagnosed on clinical symptoms alone is unknown.
BMJ Open - Cairns et al
Conclusion : The incidence of LD in the UK is about threefold higher than previously estimated.
Quality standard 4 advises: Local authorities organise health promotion activities with organisations in their area to raise public awareness about how to prevent Lyme disease.
Frameworks for risk communication and disease management: the case of Lyme disease and countryside users
The role of land-based organisations in facilitating appropriate precautionary behavior.
There is no UK wide data on the financial implications of Lyme disease. However, in 2003 the total annual cost for Scotland, was estimated to be significant at £331,000 (range £47,000 – £615,000).
In 2017, an estimate of the annual societal costs of Lyme disease in the Netherlands was calculated at 20 million euros for an annual incidence of 25,000 cases of Lyme disease. Lyme disease costs EUR 20 million annually
Assuming similar health and social care costs in the uk, an annual incidence of around 4,000 to 5,000 cases in Scotland could result in a societal cost of at £3 million - £3.5 million per year.
The case for investment in tick bite prevention and education of health professionals cannot be underestimated.