Lyme Disease clinic to close after six months in Winchester

Romsey Advertiser: A tick that can carry Lyme Disease A tick that can carry Lyme Disease

A GROUNDBREAKING Hampshire clinic to help people with Lyme Disease is set to close at the end of May after only six months.

The unique service was set up last summer by expert Matthew Dryden, a consultant microbiologist at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester.

The clinic at the RHCH has helped some 120 people who have contracted the bacterial infection that spreads to people by infected ticks frequently from animals in woodland.

The disease can have serious consequences affecting skin, joints, heart and nervous system.

The clinic was funded as a pilot by the Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust but the trust has been unable to agree permanent funding with Public Health England.

Dr Dryden said: “The clinic is closing. Not because funding has been pulled; there never was any funding. The local trust should be congratulated for hosting it.

“There has been a massive demand and a huge national need and it is a huge disappointment that the powers that be have not reached an agreement. I was seeing people from across the UK.”

Dr Dryden said the clinic may re-start but almost certainly not in Winchester.

The South is a hotspot for Lyme Disease because of the number of woods and the increase in housing in the countryside and an increase in number of animals such as deer.

“Lyme Disease is becoming commoner. The South is becoming more crowded, with lots of housing close to rural areas. Conservation is getting better and the amount of wildlife coming into proximity with people is growing," he said.

Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust referred media inquiries to Dr Dryden.

Comments (3)

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10:25am Fri 25 Apr 14

Joannemar says...

I was sorry to hear that the Winchester clinic for patients with possible Lyme Disease was no longer able to continue.

There are 100's of patients in the UK who fall into a long illness following a tick bite, many should have been treated initially when they consulted doctors with classic Bulls eye rashes which according to Public health England should be treated on antibiotics - however doctors so unfamiliar with Lyme Disease will dismiss this obvious rash as anything else but what it clearly is.

The consequences are dire for those patients who have missed that early opportunity for treatment but many of them do in fact improve in health if they eventually are prescribed longer courses of antibiotics.

Dr Dryden seems to have noticed this in some of his patients from patient reports. It is only by working long term with this patient group and following their progress on and not on treatment that answers will be found.

It is good to hear that the intention is to start similar centres across other NHS hospitals but that will depend on available funding and priorities, as NHS and PHE have not accepted the seriousness of this illness or it's complexities and don't yet recognise the limitations of testing then it rather sounds that we will just end up with the same stalemate we have had for many years.

It is all so ridiculous that patients are left with a treatable illness - it doesn't make economic sense for NHS let alone the un necessary misery that is caused.

Anyone wanting to learn more about Lyme Disease should look at the work charity Lyme Disease Action is doing, details on their website.
I was sorry to hear that the Winchester clinic for patients with possible Lyme Disease was no longer able to continue. There are 100's of patients in the UK who fall into a long illness following a tick bite, many should have been treated initially when they consulted doctors with classic Bulls eye rashes which according to Public health England should be treated on antibiotics - however doctors so unfamiliar with Lyme Disease will dismiss this obvious rash as anything else but what it clearly is. The consequences are dire for those patients who have missed that early opportunity for treatment but many of them do in fact improve in health if they eventually are prescribed longer courses of antibiotics. Dr Dryden seems to have noticed this in some of his patients from patient reports. It is only by working long term with this patient group and following their progress on and not on treatment that answers will be found. It is good to hear that the intention is to start similar centres across other NHS hospitals but that will depend on available funding and priorities, as NHS and PHE have not accepted the seriousness of this illness or it's complexities and don't yet recognise the limitations of testing then it rather sounds that we will just end up with the same stalemate we have had for many years. It is all so ridiculous that patients are left with a treatable illness - it doesn't make economic sense for NHS let alone the un necessary misery that is caused. Anyone wanting to learn more about Lyme Disease should look at the work charity Lyme Disease Action is doing, details on their website. Joannemar
  • Score: 8

10:25am Fri 25 Apr 14

Joannemar says...

I was sorry to hear that the Winchester clinic for patients with possible Lyme Disease was no longer able to continue.

There are 100's of patients in the UK who fall into a long illness following a tick bite, many should have been treated initially when they consulted doctors with classic Bulls eye rashes which according to Public health England should be treated on antibiotics - however doctors so unfamiliar with Lyme Disease will dismiss this obvious rash as anything else but what it clearly is.

The consequences are dire for those patients who have missed that early opportunity for treatment but many of them do in fact improve in health if they eventually are prescribed longer courses of antibiotics.

Dr Dryden seems to have noticed this in some of his patients from patient reports. It is only by working long term with this patient group and following their progress on and not on treatment that answers will be found.

It is good to hear that the intention is to start similar centres across other NHS hospitals but that will depend on available funding and priorities, as NHS and PHE have not accepted the seriousness of this illness or it's complexities and don't yet recognise the limitations of testing then it rather sounds that we will just end up with the same stalemate we have had for many years.

It is all so ridiculous that patients are left with a treatable illness - it doesn't make economic sense for NHS let alone the un necessary misery that is caused.

Anyone wanting to learn more about Lyme Disease should look at the work charity Lyme Disease Action is doing, details on their website.
I was sorry to hear that the Winchester clinic for patients with possible Lyme Disease was no longer able to continue. There are 100's of patients in the UK who fall into a long illness following a tick bite, many should have been treated initially when they consulted doctors with classic Bulls eye rashes which according to Public health England should be treated on antibiotics - however doctors so unfamiliar with Lyme Disease will dismiss this obvious rash as anything else but what it clearly is. The consequences are dire for those patients who have missed that early opportunity for treatment but many of them do in fact improve in health if they eventually are prescribed longer courses of antibiotics. Dr Dryden seems to have noticed this in some of his patients from patient reports. It is only by working long term with this patient group and following their progress on and not on treatment that answers will be found. It is good to hear that the intention is to start similar centres across other NHS hospitals but that will depend on available funding and priorities, as NHS and PHE have not accepted the seriousness of this illness or it's complexities and don't yet recognise the limitations of testing then it rather sounds that we will just end up with the same stalemate we have had for many years. It is all so ridiculous that patients are left with a treatable illness - it doesn't make economic sense for NHS let alone the un necessary misery that is caused. Anyone wanting to learn more about Lyme Disease should look at the work charity Lyme Disease Action is doing, details on their website. Joannemar
  • Score: 2

8:13am Sat 26 Apr 14

Joannemar says...

The very first misconception people make is to associate a tick bite with a fully engorged tick such as the one in the photo - research shows that most people get bitten by the tiny poppy seed sized tick that can go unnoticed.
Sadly when a newspaper does an article they hove in on a photo such as above which goes to reinforce these misconceptions, thus people will say but I have never been bitten by a tick - no one can be sure of that.
The nymph tick is shown in the picture at this link http://www.lymedisea
seaction.org.uk/abou
t-ticks/
The very first misconception people make is to associate a tick bite with a fully engorged tick such as the one in the photo - research shows that most people get bitten by the tiny poppy seed sized tick that can go unnoticed. Sadly when a newspaper does an article they hove in on a photo such as above which goes to reinforce these misconceptions, thus people will say but I have never been bitten by a tick - no one can be sure of that. The nymph tick is shown in the picture at this link http://www.lymedisea seaction.org.uk/abou t-ticks/ Joannemar
  • Score: 4

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