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The work of the clinical laboratory professional - who analyses chemical indicators in the body to provide the doctor with a clearer picture of a patient's health - has long been an unseen aspect of health care. Yet, clinical lab tests often provide the link between the patient's presentation of symptoms and the doctor's diagnosis of and prescribed treatment for a particular condition or disease. Through preventative screening, lab tests also aid in the early detection of potentially fatal conditions, and in so doing, lead to early treatment. In short, lab tests can help both to save lives and to improve the quality of life.

Lab Tests Online-UK has been designed to help you, the patient, to better understand the many clinical lab tests that are part of routine care as well as diagnosis and treatment of a broad range of conditions and diseases. Our Patient Resources page describes what you can find on the site and how it can benefit you. The site is the product of a collaboration of professional societies representing the lab community. We are launching this site at a time when health care consumers are being asked to assume more responsibility for their care. Knowing more about lab tests and the issues surrounding testing is an important step in this direction. We hope that you will find this site a help in taking that step. To ensure that the site will be accepted as a trusted source for medical information, we aim to adhere to the Code of Conduct espoused by the Health on the Net Foundation, an international not-for-profit organisation that seeks "to guide lay persons or non-medical users and medical practitioners to useful and reliable online medical and health information." This site would not have been possible without the many volunteer hours provided by members of our Board, our Editorial Board and fellow contributing professionals, nor the financial support obtained from a grant awarded by The Health Foundation. We are also extremely grateful to those who set up and produce the original Lab Test Online site in the USA, and allowed us to licence their original design and content, and collaborate on future development.