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BTS Quality Standards for acute NIV in adults

The British Thoracic Society has published its new Quality Standards for acute Non-Invasive Ventilation in Adults, marking a major step forward in respiratory patient care.  This follows the recent National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death, ‘Inspiring Change’, 2017, which highlighted a mortality rate of over a third for patients receiving NIV.

The Quality Standards are designed for all health care professionals, along with service providers and commissioners, engaged in providing non-invasive ventilation or ‘NIV’ – that is, ventilator support through a patient’s upper airway using a mask or similar device.  They are also intended as a useful resource for patients wanting to understand more about what they should expect from their health service provider.

The Quality Standards on NIV include guidance that NIV should be offered to all patients who meet evidence-based criteria on presentation, and that they should start NIV within 120 minutes of presentation to the emergency department.

Dr Mike Davies, Consultant in Respiratory Medicine, and British Thoracic Society NIV Clinical Audit lead, said,

“The British Thoracic Society has long campaigned for better NIV services, and has produced key guidelines and audits. The Society ‘s Quality Standards for NIV provide commissioners, healthcare professionals and patients with measurable markers of good practice in the provision of acute NIV.  

We hope this will provide a practical tool to really lever-up standards of care.”

The British Thoracic Society’s Quality Standards provide a series of quality statements that act as markers of high quality, cost-effective and evidence-based patient care across a pathway or clinical area, covering treatment or prevention. 

The rationale for the Quality Standards for NIV is drawn from evidence and recommendations summarised in the BTS Guidelines for the Ventilatory Management of Acute Hypercapnic Respiratory Failure and is informed by the 2017 National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death report on NIV, ‘Inspiring Change’.

For more information, please contact BTS:

020 7831 8778


Note to Editors:


The British Thoracic Society is the UK’s professional body of respiratory specialists. The Society seeks to improve standards of care for people who have respiratory diseases and to support and develop those who provide that care.  A registered charity,  it has over 3,000 members including doctors, nurses, respiratory physiotherapists, scientists and other professionals with a respiratory interest.  For more information, go to

The BTS Quality Standards for acute non-invasive ventilation in adults has been endorsed by:

The Royal College of Physicians, London, The Royal College of Anaesthetists, The Royal College of Emergency Medicine, The Intensive Care Society, The Society for Acute Medicine, The Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Respiratory Care.


British Thoracic Society 17 Doughty St
London, London WC1N 2PL
11/12/2018 16:19:25