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Aim To describe the nature and causes of reported patient safety incidents relating to care in the community for children dependent on long-term ventilation with the further aim of improving safety. Methods We undertook an analysis of patient safety incident data relating to long-term ventilation in the community using incident reports from England and Wales’ National Reporting and Learning System occurring between January 2013 and December 2017. Manual screening by two authors identified 220 incidents which met the inclusion criteria. The free text for each report was descriptively analysed to identify the problems in the delivery of care, the contributory factors and the patient outcome. Results Common problems in the delivery of care included issues with faulty equipment and the availability of equipment, and concerns around staff competency. There was a clearly stated harm to the child in 89 incidents (40%). Contributory factors included staff shortages, out of hours care, and issues with packaging and instructions for equipment. Conclusions This study identifies a range of problems relating to long-term ventilation in the community, some of which raise serious safety concerns. The provision of services to support children on long-term ventilation and their families needs to improve. Priorities include training of staff, maintenance and availability of equipment, support for families and coordination of care. This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to copy, redistribute, remix, transform and build upon this work for any purpose, provided the original work is properly cited, a link to the licence is given, and indication of whether changes were made.

Original publication




Journal article


Archives of Disease in Childhood


BMJ Publishing Group

Publication Date



long-term ventilation, patient safety, pediatric, paediatric safety, incident analysis