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We provide specialised services for patients with severe asthma to provide specialist treatment, help patients manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.

Asthma is a disease with recurrent attacks of breathlessness and wheezing. This is due to inflammation of the airways (breathing tubes) that causes the lining of the airways to swell and affects the sensitivity of the airways so they can become easily irritated and narrow reducing the amount of air flowing out of the lungs. Treatment is aimed at controlling inflammation and reducing airway sensitivity to ensure that the airways stay open. The clinical team for severe asthma is led by Dr David Allen, Dr Rob Niven and Dr Tom Pantin with Dr Steve Fowler and Professor Angela Simpsons as the research leads.

Severe asthma is the definition used to describe people who require high levels of treatment (high dose inhaled steroids and/or oral steroids) to maintain asthma control or who continue to experience daily symptoms and frequent asthma attacks despite treatment. Patients with severe asthma can also develop problems with their breathing pattern, increased sensitivity of their upper airway and throat as well as problems with anxiety and low mood.

Your treatment team

All new patients referred to the severe asthma service are assessed in a multi-disciplinary day case clinic by a specialist team of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and physiotherapists supported by specialist speech and language therapists, clinical psychologists, dietician and research scientists.

Our Severe Asthma Service not only provides an excellent clinical service but also produces a significant amount of research into asthma through clinical trials, the academic programme based at the North West Lung Centre, and collaborations with the University of Manchester. This means we are at the cutting edge of new asthma treatments.

We are one of the UKs leading severe asthma centres and act as a ‘hub’ for a network of specialised asthma units in the North West and North Wales. This means that patients can access the same high quality specialised asthma services regardless of where they live in the region.

Our Services

We provide assessment, treatment, support and advice to patients with severe and difficult to control asthma. Our ethos is to offer holistic, personalised care through a specialised team of health professionals.

Professor Simpson and Dr Hannah Durrington provide a clinic for patients who may have had a flare up of mild or moderate asthma who have attended hospital, to provide a thorough review asthma treatment, provide education on self-management and a tailored asthma management plan.

Tests and treatment

A wide range of tests are available to assess severe asthma in detail so that we can personalise treatments to the type and pattern of asthma each individual patient has. This includes; assessment of inhaler technique and device suitability, detailed lung function tests, measurement of inflammation in the lungs, blood tests, sputum analysis, CT scan and bronchoscopy. We also provide access to new tests that are in the research phase and not yet available on the NHS, to help us understand patterns of asthma even more thoroughly.

Specialist treatments we offer in addition to standard asthma therapy include: Bronchial Thermoplasty, Biological Therapy (monoclonal antibodies targeting allergic or eosinophilic inflammation), Steroid-sparing agents, and Anti-fungals (in collaboration with the National Aspergillosis Centre at MFT).

Patients can also take part in clinical trials of new therapies such as monoclonal antibodies and new inhaled therapies. We also offer non-drug treatments such as physiotherapy, counselling and psychology services.


We are one of the UKs leading centres for research into asthma and allergy. We perform a large range of studies from lab based research to large clinical trials. We are currently one of a few UK centres part of the RASP-UK Consortium which brings together a partnership of clinical and academic excellence from UK Universities, NHS Severe Asthma Centres and Pharmaceutical Industry. The primary aim is to target steroid treatments more effectively, understand why some patients do not respond to steroids and develop new strategies and treatments for managing such patients.

You can learn about our leading research work, how this benefits patients, and how you can get involved, by visiting our research facility pages.


You can be referred by your GP to the severe asthma service at MFT or by your chest physician if you are under a hospital chest clinic.

Contact us

Phone: 0161 291 4153 / 0161 291 2834 (secretaries)



The nearest car park to North West Lung Centre is in front of the Acute Block, we can offer a discounted parking ticket. Please ask the team on arrival and we can arrange this for you on your first visit. Disabled parking is free for Blue badge holders and all locations are clearly signposted.

On arrival please report to the North West Lung Centre in the Yellow Zone, located at Entrance 5.



  • Dr Caroline Baxter - Consultant Respiratory Medicine, Clinical Director of the National Aspergillosis Centre
  • Dr Hannah Durrington - MRC Clinician Scientist Honorary Consultant Respiratory Physician