Lung Specialists welcome new report into non-invasive ventilation as a milestone to help improve patient care

On Thursday 13 July The British Thoracic Society (BTS) welcomed the launch of a new report from the National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death (NCEPOD) looking at the care of patients requiring non-invasive ventilation. 

Non-invasive ventilation (NIV) refers to the provision of ventilatory support through a patient's upper airway using a mask or similar device. 

Dr Mike Davies, Consultant in Respiratory Medicine, member of the British Thoracic Society and member of the Study Advisory Group who advised NCEPOD on the study design, said:

“We welcome this publication as it can act as a stimulus to improve care for patients requiring NIV.

“What is most worrying is the high mortality rate of over a third of patients treated with NIV.  We need a concerted national and local effort across the NHS to raise the profile of this issue and help reduce avoidable deaths.

“We wholeheartedly support the report’s main recommendations which include the need for every hospital to provide NIV in a dedicated clinical area. NIV is a specialist treatment and should be provided by a team that includes a named clinical lead to drive quality improvement and sufficient, trained staff to deliver safe and effective NIV care.  Respiratory clinicians have a critical role to play here.  Timely care is vital and we welcome the proposal that treatment with acute NIV must start within a maximum of one hour of identifying the need for it. 

“We urge all NHS commissioners and clinicians administering NIV to read the report’s recommendations in full here

“The British Thoracic Society has long campaigned for better NIV services, and has produced key guidelines and audits. The Society will shortly issue its quality standards for NIV for consultation, these will 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.”



For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Rosie Strachan or Ed Gyde:

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