I was chatting to a long time chum online recently – he’d just got back from having what he thought was a big variety of blood tests that his GP has requested. He had visited the surgery about a niggling back pain and having always been very fit and thus never a regular attendant, his GP decided to have a whole bunch of observations done via blood tests. These seem to be the same or very similar to the Well Man tests done at the surgery I attend. Improvements in the upfront treatment of patients is proving very cost effective – finding out if a patient is suffering from any of the major irritations, before the symptoms manifest themselves is often the only route to getting them investigated, diagnosed and a treatment path organised – all before the patient realises there could be a problem. The earlier it’s detected, the quicker any problem can be treated.