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Long-term Ventilation (LTV) Service

Checked: 23-10-2023 by 6 Sandi Littler Next Review: 23-10-2025

Service Overview

The long-term ventilation (LTV) service is based at the Bristol Royal Infirmary and facilitates the diagnosis of, and ongoing support for, patients with ventilatory impairment.

This is a tertiary service supporting patients in Bristol, Bath and North-East Somerset, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset.

The majority of referrals are from secondary care providers, either when ventilatory compromise leads to an acute admission or following prior diagnostic assessment in the local respiratory or neurology service.

The service cares for both non-complex patients (including obesity hypoventilation syndrome, restrictive chest wall disease, COPD, post-polio syndrome) and complex patients (including tracheostomy ventilation, neuromuscular disease and congenital hypoventilation syndrome) and has strong links to the South-West Neuromuscular Operational Delivery Network.

The team consists of physiotherapy and physiology staff and is supported by respiratory physicians, with regular input from neurology in appropriate cases.

Whilst within the service there is capacity for domiciliary patient support, this is not a community-based service and there is no capacity for urgent input, although advice can often be provided. The do work closely with local providers of Supportive and Palliative Care and community respiratory services.

Non-invasive ventilation (BIPAP) - Patient Information leaflet

Contact details:

Home NIV team, Sleep unit, B301, Bristol Royal Infirmary, Bristol, BS2 8HW

Appointment line: 0117 342 1647

Clinical line: 0117 342 1636

Email contact:

Referral Guidance

Patients with suspected nocturnal hypoventilation / respiratory failure can be referred for assessment (including overnight oximetry, lung function testing and overnight sleep studies).

Referrals would usually be received from secondary care after initial diagnostic assessment, but they will liaise with primary care about both referrals and patients in our service.

This service operates during normal working hours Monday-Friday.

All outpatient referrals and queries to this service should be via letter / email to

Efforts are made to ensure the accuracy and agreement of these guidelines, including any content uploaded, referred to or linked to from the system. However, BNSSG ICB cannot guarantee this. This guidance does not override the individual responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or guardian or carer, in accordance with the mental capacity act, and informed by the summary of product characteristics of any drugs they are considering. Practitioners are required to perform their duties in accordance with the law and their regulators and nothing in this guidance should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties.

Information provided through Remedy is continually updated so please be aware any printed copies may quickly become out of date.