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However, many have cough hypersensitivity syndrome or ‘chronic cough’. Our specialist team offers a wide range of highly specialised diagnostic tests to find the cause of chronic cough and the latest treatments to help ease symptoms.

This service is led by Professor Jacky Smith, Professor Ashley Woodcock and Dr Paul Marsden.

Cough is the most common symptom for which patients visit their GP and one of the most common reasons for referral to a chest specialist. Most occur because of an upper respiratory tract virus infection and clear up without treatment within a few weeks. However, some people’s coughs last longer than eight weeks and are known as ‘chronic’ coughs. This condition can be frustrating, disabling, and even socially isolating for sufferers.

At MFT, our specialist cough service based within the North West Lung Centre, provides a tertiary level service, meaning patients are referred to us by both GPs and hospital consultants regionally. We offer a wide range of diagnostic tests and treatments for chronic cough. Our cough clinic is one of the largest in the UK, attracting patients mainly from the North West of England but also as far as Scotland, Yorkshire, and Wales. We have over 1,000 registered patients who come for regular reviews and around 200 new patients use our service every year.

Our services

  • Assessment and Diagnosis of chronic cough
  • Clinical Trials of new drugs for chronic cough

Tests and treatment

Tests we perform to diagnose and treat chronic cough include: blood tests including allergy assessment; skin prick testing; lung function tests, breath tests; reflux-measuring tests; bronchoscopy, and high resolution CT scans.

Treatment might include appropriate medications, lifestyle measures, and speech and language physiotherapy for cough control. Further investigations and/or consultations are usually decided once a patient’s response has been assessed.


We are an active research group led by Professors Jacky Smith and Ashley Woodcock who are regarded as world experts. Our research into Chronic Cough is internationally recognised and has led to some recent high impact discoveries. We actively engage with patients and public in our work by organising a yearly ‘Combat my Cough’ event and producing a regular newsletter giving updates about any progress we have made.

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


If you have a persistent unexplained cough or are struggling with a cough related to a diagnosed condition such as asthma you can ask your local specialist to refer to our specialist service.


The Cough service is based at the North West Lung Centre at Wythenshawe Hospital and is located in the Yellow Zone, Entrance 4, off Southmoor Road.