its tricky in the UK
most GP's are simply uneducated with respect to Lyme and display their ignorance with statements like
- "we don't have lyme disease in this area"
(and yet Public Health England - now rate every county in the country as medium or high risk)
they have typically done only 30minutes of education on Lyme disease at medical school - and the textbooks then said it was v rare, easily diagnosed and easily treated. very few GP's have revisited the subject since - so this is their mindset. the situation is perhaps getting a little better over time but still patchy.
the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) - is the body responsible for setting rules and guidelines for the GP's to follow in diagnosis and treatment of all conditions in the NHS.
the NICE guidelines for lyme disease have recently been updated - and tell doctors they should diagnose and treat based on the bulls eye rash alone - no further tests needed to justify treatment https://pathways.nice.org.uk/pathways/lyme-disease#path=view%3a/pathways/lyme-disease/diagnosing-lyme-disease.xml&content=view-node%3anodes-diagnosis-in-person-with-erythema-migrans
to me - your rash at least in some of the photos looked to be a good enough example to press for this - so if it were me i would press for this angle.
if they refuse or dismiss you in person in a visit - i have found putting a clear letter together expressing your concern to the GP practice manager - and detailing how you wish to be treated - asking them to justify why they are not following the NICE guideline. can be effective in getting them to support - but even then the guideline says 28days of doxycycline - and leaves anything beyond that to the GP's discretion - which they will typically resist doing.
regarding finding a LLMD in the UK - i believe there are a few in the UK - but because they are essentially treating people outside of the NICE guidelines - they are vulnerable to medical board review and losing their licences so they tend to run under the radar.
i think its Lymediseaseuk.org that have a list they will send you if asked - and if its the one i'm thinking of - it has some user reviews - so that's a useful option - i would definitely seek out other patients experiences before signing up with one blind.
perhaps ask the question on their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/lymediseaseuk/
the lymediseaseuk website is dedicated to providing clear fact checked information and campaigning for patients interests - so that's well worth a read -
for instance - they produce these free information guides https://lymediseaseuk.com/patient-information-guides/
ask questions here also - people will be happy to help - myself included
PS as i think was mentioned above - antibody tests - as offered by UK GP's but also the Igenx western blots etc are not expected to be positive until around 6 weeks after infection/ tick bite - as it takes the body time to start making antibodies -
so its not appropriate or useful to do these tests till around 4-6weeks after the bite. the GP should know this.
unfortunately, there are no good tests for detecting early infection - which is why they are supposed to treat based on the Bulls Eye Rash and symptoms.
Post Edited (Garzie) : 9/5/2021 8:41:31 AM (GMT-6)