British Thoracic Society

The British Thoracic Society (BTS) was formed in 1982 by the amalgamation of the British Thoracic Association and the Thoracic Society.[1] It is a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee.[2]

British Thoracic Society
MottoBetter lung health for all
Legal statusRegistered charity and limited company
PurposeThoracic medicine (pulmonology) in the UK
Region served
Respiratory medical professionals (doctors and nurses) in the UK
Chief Executive
Sheila Edwards
Main organ
BTS Executive Committee (Chairman - Prof Mike Morgan)


The Society’s main charitable objective is to improve the care of people with respiratory and associated disorders, which it aims to achieve by:

  • promoting optimum standards of care (the Clinical Information section of the BTS website contains treatment Guidelines, good practice guides and related audit tools)
  • promoting and advancing knowledge about the causes, prevention and treatment of respiratory diseases (the society runs two large conferences each year and a range of short courses and are currently developing an e-learning resource - more details of these can be found in the Education Hub)
  • promoting and disseminating research (the Society's Winter Meeting is the main showcase for this activity, as well as the journal Thorax, published jointly with the British Medical Journal, and the Research section of the website contains more information about our other activities).


BTS is a membership organization, with nearly 3000 members from the respiratory health sector. These include doctors, nurses, respiratory physiotherapists, scientists and other professionals with an interest in respiratory disease.[3]

It is situated a few hundred metres east of Great Ormond Street Hospital, off Gray's Inn Road.

The Society also works in partnership with a range of organisations to achieve its objectives. These partners include other respiratory health professional groups, organisations representing patients and carers, medical and surgical Royal Colleges and other specialist societies.

Governance and staffEdit

BTS currently has eight members of staff and a number of other associates who deal with the day-to-day running of the Society, including a Chief Executive and a Deputy Chief Executive.[4]

BTS is managed by its Trustees, who are the officers and members of the Executive Committee. The President and President-elect are elected annually by the membership. The other officers serve for three years and nominations for these posts are sought from the membership.[5]

BTS has five established Standing Committees, the chairs of which each sit on the Executive Committee. These Committees are:

  • Standards of Care Committee
  • Science and Research Committee
  • Professional & Organisational Standards Committee
  • Education and Training Committee
  • Workforce Committee.

In addition, the BTS has newly created a Public Liaison Committee to help the Society to place citizens and those with respiratory disease at the centre of their work. The Chair of this Committee will be a Trustee of the Society.[6]

Specialist Advisory GroupsEdit

Thoracic anatomy

BTS has a network of Specialist Advisory Groups which are made up of specialist professionals and provide expert support opinion.[7]

Each Specialist Advisory Group focuses on a specific issue:


The production of evidence-based Guidelines for good clinical practice lies at the heart of the Society’s work. Guidelines are produced by multidisciplinary groups working under the auspices of the Society’s Standards of Care Committee, and are published in the journal Thorax. The British Guideline for the Management of Asthma, produced jointly by BTS and SIGN, enjoys international recognition and is updated annually. Other recent Guidelines include the BTS Guideline for Emergency Oxygen Use in Adult Patients, and the BTS/ACPRC Guideline for Physiotherapy Management of the Adult Spontaneously Breathing Patient. Copies of all BTS guidelines are available on the BTS website.[8]

Meetings and Short Course ProgrammeEdit

BTS holds two annual conferences; the Summer Meeting in the last week of June and the Winter Meeting which takes place at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in London in the first week of December. These Meetings bring together medical professionals with an interest in respiratory medicine.

The Summer Meeting is the main annual educational event, with clinical updates and the opportunity for a multi-disciplinary audience to discuss key issues and share good practice. There is also a wide-ranging programme of short courses.[9]

The BTS Winter Meeting attracts over 2000 delegates each year and is the UK’s primary respiratory scientific meeting, with the emphasis on presenting updates on current respiratory research and symposia from leading researchers from all over the world. Young Investigators and Medical Students are encouraged to put forward abstracts and prizes are awarded in each category.[10]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "The Thoracic Society:a retrospect" (PDF). Thorax. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
  2. ^ Status Archived April 15, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Membership Archived April 15, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Governance Archived July 15, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Leadership Archived July 15, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Public Liaison Committee Archived July 25, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Committees[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ BTS Guidelines Archived January 5, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Short courses Archived April 16, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Prizes Archived July 24, 2009, at the Wayback Machine

External linksEdit