British Thoracic Society

British Thoracic Society
Abbreviation BTS
Motto Working for healthier lungs
Formation 1982
Legal status Registered charity and limited company
Purpose Thoracic medicine (pulmonology) in the UK
  • 17 Doughty Street, WC1N 2PL
Region served
Respiratory medical professionals (doctors and nurses) in the UK
Chief Executive
Sheila Edwards
Main organ
BTS Executive Committee (Chairman - Prof Mike Morgan)
Website BTS

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]


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


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 staff

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:

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 Groups

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 Programme

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 also


  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
  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 links

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