Having a mobile unit that raises awareness but also supports a simple innovative, less invasive diagnostic test has been very popular with our supporters.  Following unbelievable generosity and fundraising over the past two and a half years, we are thrilled to have commissioned a purpose built mobile diagnostic unit which has been in use since June 2021.  We are also delighted to say we have ordered our second unit with a few specification upgrades and its due for delivery later in 2023. 

The first unit was launched in Cambridgeshire enabling us to facilitate the first part of a pilot study in partnership with Project DELTA, bringing screening for Barrett's oesophagus into primary care.

Following it's time in Cambridge, the unit then made its move to Essex in January 2022 and then to Suffolk in July 2022.  The mobile unit has now finished its work for Project DELTA and is undergoing some maintenance checks and preparation before it heads off again to support another project.  The DELTA project hoped to reach up to 1500 people who suffer with persistent heartburn and provide the opportunity to have screening in a way that they may not otherwise have accessed.  Some patients were invited to come for the test if they met a criteria that put them at greater risk of Barrett’s and some who self-medicate their heartburn/reflux were able to self-refer for a test.

The primary care arm of the DELTA study wouldn’t have been possible without the COVID safe mobile diagnostic unit as the study started during the pandemic when GP practices weren’t in a position to support it by providing clinical space.

Prior to the full study analysis being published we can say there were lots of positive learnings from the project in addition to some patients being diagnosed with Barrett's and other oesophageal conditions.  For example, developing useful patient information that explains the test, exploring different ways to raise awareness about the availability of the test with potential patients, learning about the resourcing required to run a mobile service, and making sure patients were selected appropriately and were suitable for the test to avoid wasting valuable resource time.

But our vision doesn't end here...


Diagnosis of oesophageal cancer is currently only possible in England and Wales through an invasive and expensive hospital procedure called endoscopy.  Our partnership has introduced an alternative solution, The Cytosponge™, a screening test which is designed for use in a community setting.  This simple test represents a huge leap forward in supporting earlier diagnosis and helping prevent oesophageal cancer.

We are fundraising to establish a longer term early diagnostic service using this innovative capsule sponge test technology like The Cytosponge™ or EndoSign®.

The most up to date evidence shows that use of the sponge test in the care of those who suffer with persistent heartburn identifies 10 times more cases of Barrett's oesophagus than the current usual care plan.

The Cytosponge

Our vision includes the purchase, equipping and managing of appropriate partnerships with local health care systems to use our mobile units using the sponge test device technology.  This will help to make earlier diagnosis of Barrett’s and oesophageal cancer a reality and in turn helping enable curative treatment while it’s still possible.

We hope this groundbreaking project and technology will allow us to bring screening and early diagnosis directly to communities that we know have high incidence of oesophageal cancer, ensuring that our work and the capsule sponge device have the greatest impact possible, resulting in more early detection, a significantly better prognosis and cost saving for the NHS.

Our long-term hope is that capsule sponge test technology will become available throughout the UK as part of a routine care pathway for those presenting with persistent heartburn.

Your support means that, until this is the case, we can continue to make this test available to as many as possible of those who are at risk.

We can't thank you enough for your donation.