We are delighted that, in the second phase of our pilot study, for the next few months, our Mobile Diagnostic Unit will be located at

We are delighted that, in the second phase of our pilot study, for the next few months, our Mobile Diagnostic Unit, in partnership with Project DELTA, will be located at Chelmsford Sports & Athletics Centre where patients from Melbourne House Surgery, Humber Road Surgery and Tennyson House Surgery in Chelmsford will have an opportunity to access The Cytosponge test. 

Whilst the majority of patients have been selected by their GP according to specific criteria, there is an opportunity for a small number of patients to self refer.

If you live in the area and;  

  • Are aged 40 or over
  • Are regularly self-medicating with things like Gaviscon for persistent heartburn/acid reflux
  • Don’t have an existing Barrett’s diagnosis
  • Are not currently being investigated/treated by your GP for these symptoms
  • Have not had an endoscopy in the last two years

…You may be eligible.

Please note: Any patient with a positive result from a Cytosponge procedure will be seen in Cambridge for necessary follow-up investigations.  It is important, when enquiring about the procedure, that you are would be happy to travel to Cambridge should this become necessary. 

For more information contact our specialist nurse, Irene on 01223 761085 or email [email protected]

What is The Cytosponge?

The Cytosponge or "Heartburn Sponge Test" is a small capsule on a string which is swallowed by a patient.  It expands in the stomach to form a sponge and is then removed a few minutes later, collecting cells from the inner lining of the oesophagus.  The test has been developed at the University of Cambridge and has been rigorously tested and shown to be safe and acceptable to thousands of patients in a large multi-centre trial.  It’s use in primary care will reduce the need for invasive endoscopies, saving NHS funds and the time of patients and professionals alike.  It will help reduce the backlog in screening caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, increase rates of early diagnosis and ultimately, save lives.

Chelmsford is the second of three locations in the pilot study, which could help revolutionise care of those with persistent heartburn.  The last location will be in Suffolk, later this year. 

If you would like more information on the test and it's current and future availability within the UK you may find the information available by clicking the buttons below helpful.  


The Cytosponge in The NHS