BMJ Diagnostic Team of the Year 2021

The BSTI Committee were delighted to receive the 2021 BMJ Award for Diagnostic Team of the Year

British Society of Thoracic Imaging COVID-19 Response

The COVID-19 pandemic presented a substantial national imaging problem. Who should be scanned? What imaging test was appropriate? What research was needed? How were patients and staff protected? This was especially relevant in the initial months, where no PCR or lateral flow tests were available.

The British Society of Thoracic Imaging initiated discussions with NHS England, the Royal College of Radiologists, NHS Trusts and patients to coordinate the national COVID response. BSTI produced guidance on the imaging appearances of COVID-19 and a national imaging decision support tool, adopted both by the NHS and internationally. BSTI communicated directly with the public via media appearances, including the BBC News.

Four leading articles in ‘Clinical Radiology’ were published to upskill radiologists and clinicians and >10 other pieces of national guidance were cited both nationally and internationally. The Clinical Radiology articles were some of the most ever read within the journal.

The pandemic caused unprecedented disruption to UK medical education and training.  BSTI delivered a virtual learning programme including free webinars, interactive teaching sessions, a virtual annual scientific meeting and a post graduate exam revision series. 

Within weeks of the Covid outbreak BSTI created a novel Cloud Imaging Database. It allowed anyone from anywhere in the world to upload COVID-19 imaging. This was vetted and accessible free of charge internationally and directly led to the National Chest Covid Imaging Database (NCCID). NCCID, a continued collaboration with BSTI. This has collected data from >20 Trusts with data for >10,000 patients and continues to expand. NCCID is providing the baseline infrastructure and proof of concept for further NHSE national research databases and registries, integrated into future AI solutions (

For months chest radiology throughout the UK was in the spotlight, putting huge pressure on all radiology departments. We sincerely thank them for everything they did. No radiology can be performed without the true front line staff: the radiographers, the porters, admin, RDAs, cleaners, infection control.... Like all departments, radiology only exists within a true team enviroment and BSTI says a massive thank you to all NHS staff that make this possible, day in and day out.

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