British Thyroid Foundation

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British Thyroid Foundation
Abbreviation BTF
Formation 1991
Legal status Charity
Purpose Thyroid medicine in the UK
Headquarters 3 Devonshire Place, Harrogate, HG1 4AA
Region served
Affiliations British Thyroid Association
Website BTF

The British Thyroid Foundation (BTF) is a UK-based, patient-led, registered charity dedicated to supporting people with thyroid disorders and helping their families and people around them to understand the condition.[1]


The Foundation is recognised by both patients and the medical profession.[2]

Since setting up in 1991, BTF has worked with thyroid specialists from the British Thyroid Association[3] (BTA), to ensure patients get up-to-date, medically evidenced based and reliable information. The BTA is a non-profit making learned society of professional clinical specialist doctors and scientists who look after patients with thyroid disorders and who carry out research into the thyroid.


Janis Hickey, director, founded British Thyroid Foundation in 1991 after being diagnosed with Graves’ disease and thyroid eye disease. She realized there was a need for support for those with thyroid disease as did the late Sir Richard Bayliss KCVO who was involved with the British Thyroid Association (at the time known as The Thyroid Club), and who encouraged the establishment of the BTF.[4]

British Thyroid Foundation was administered out of Mrs. Hickey’s home until 2001 when BTF moved into their current location in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK. Currently, BTF employs four part-time employees and is aided by many volunteers all over the UK.[5]

Past and present patrons include Claire Rayner, Maria Aitken, Clare Balding, Jenny Pitman, Melissa Porter, Gay Search, and Dr. W Michael G Tunbridge.[6]


British Thyroid Foundation supports local support groups and provides telephone support through volunteers. BTF fields telephone and email questions usually by providing information that is medically evidenced based.[7] BTF News is the quarterly newsletter featuring articles about thyroid research and treatment, local group activities, and BTF national level news.[8]

British Thyroid Foundation is represented at various medical conferences such as the British Endocrine Society and the Royal College of General Practitioners.


BTF is committed to making a difference and improving the patient experience by focusing awareness on specific aspects of thyroid disease.

Cancer Project[edit]

The goal is to provide information and support to thyroid cancer patients and to help improve treatment and care in collaboration with medical professionals and other cancer groups.[9][10]

Children’s Project[edit]

Because thyroid disorders are relatively uncommon in children, once they have left the doctor's office with a diagnosis many parents feel at a loss when questions arise about symptoms, treatment, care and future health.[11] It is with this in mind that the BTF Children’s Project Group is writing a booklet especially for parents and carers of babies, children and young people with thyroid disease.[12]

Thyroid in pregnancy[edit]

The Pregnancy Project team includes doctors, patients and an endocrine nurse working to increase awareness of the risks of thyroid in pregnancy. The goal is to educate the medical community and the general public with current research-based information about thyroid in pregnancy.[13]

Thyroid Eye Disease Project[edit]

Access of patients with thyroid eye disease to specialist centres and expertise varies widely.[14] Working with the Thyroid Eye Disease Charitable Trust (TEDct), BTF’s aim is to implement the Amsterdam Declaration in the UK establishing pathways of referral and care: shortened referral times and ensuring access to the medical professional with the appropriate level of expertise, and high standards of treatment and care.[14]

Research Awards[edit]

Each year the British Thyroid Foundation provides a financial award to medical researchers and nurses in an effort to support the medical community in providing the treatment for people with thyroid disorders.

Annual Medical Research Award[edit]

A one-year award of up to £10,000 is offered to enable medical researchers to supplement existing projects or for pump-priming existing research ideas. Funds are awarded for consumables, running costs and necessary items of equipment. Research must be directly related to the thyroid or thyroid disorders.[15]

Evelyn Ashley Smith Award for Nurses with an Interest in Thyroid Disorders[edit]

A monetary award is provided for nurses with an interest in thyroid disorders. The award is offered to

  • support training needs including conference attendance
  • support a specific project lasting one year
  • reward a piece of work already completed, but not yet published.[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Bayliss, Richard Ian Samuel; Tunbridge, W. Michael G. (1998). Thyroid Disease: The Facts. Oxford University Press, USA. ISBN 978-0-19-262946-3. 
  3. ^ British Thyroid Association
  4. ^ The Endocrinologist Issue 82
  5. ^ About Us BTF Website
  6. ^ Patrons BTF Website
  7. ^ Telephone Support BTF Website
  8. ^ Newsletters BTF Website
  9. ^ Cancer Project BTF Website
  10. ^ Thyroid Cancer: By Patients, for Parents. 2010. ISBN 978-0-9565107-0-9. 
  11. ^ Childhood and Congenital Hypothyroidism Patient UK
  12. ^ Children's Project BTF Website
  13. ^ About the Pregnancy Project BTF Website
  14. ^ a b Petros Perros, Wilmar M. Wiersinga. The Amsterdam Declaration on Graves’s Orbitopathy. Thyroid. March 2010, 20(3): 245-246. doi:10.1089/thy.2010.1618.
  15. ^ Research Awards BTF Website
  16. ^ Nurse Award BTF Website

External links[edit]