Dr. Maggie Watts, NHS Western Isles Director of Public Health, opening the event.

On Friday 11th August 2017 in Sgoil Lionacleit, Benbecula, NHS Western Isles and the Scottish Health Protection Network (SHPN) hosted a very successful Tick and Lyme disease symposium.

The event had over 60 delegates across 9 videoconference sites and those who attended in person. 

The day was chaired by Dr Maggie Watts, Director of Public Health for NHS Western Isles. National experts – Professor Dominic Mellor, Dr Gill Hawkins and Professor Lucy Gilbert discussed ticks and Lyme disease from the human, veterinary and ecological perspectives. Isabell MacInnes from NHS Western Isles shared the local epidemiology of Lyme disease with the audience and Graham Charlesworth’s presentation encompassed other tick-borne diseases and the preliminary findings of ‘sheet dragging’ studies he has undertaken in areas within South Uist.

In the afternoon delegates had time to discuss aspects of prevention and awareness, what professionals need to know, tick ecology and management of the environment to reduce Lyme disease. The event concluded with the identification of priorities for future investigation and research.
Acknowledgement must go to Kenneth Matheson, ICT Co-ordinator at CNES along with Fiona MacAulay and Ossin Buckley who ably managed the ICT and video conference facilities and to Stepping Stones who provided the catering for the event.

More information can be requested from NHS Western Isles Health Protection team, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Pictured L-R: Professor Dominic Mellor, Isabell MacInnes, Dr. Maggie Watts, Dr. Gill Hawkins, Dr. Roger Evans, Graham Charlesworth. Missing from the picture is Dr. Lucy Gilbert.