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Physio Chain Shows No Sign of Growing Pains

From zero to six clinics in 12 months & twenty jobs - Firm eyeing 10,000 appointments in 2019 - Backed by business angel Shaz Sulaman

Physio Chain Shows No Sign of Growing Pains

"I know that as long as you are the best at what you do, success will follow. Back that up by being the first-to-innovate and customers will want to try you out."
Shaz Sulaman

One of the North West’s newest and fastest growing health businesses has announced its sixth opening in less than twelve months.

Physiotherapy chain True Physio opened its first outlet  in February 2018. Now, on the eve of its first birthday, the company is launching a sixth outlet.

Andy Byrne, 36, set up his first clinic in Sale, Manchester, and is marking the firm’s first anniversary with a significant move into Manchester City Centre.  True Physio has announced a new venture with Pall Mall Medical on King’s Street, where it will place a full time therapist on site under the True Physio banner. The latest expansion brings the total number of treatment rooms to 18, with the firm on track to deliver 10,000 treatments in 2019.

To deliver his vision of being the leading chain of physio clinics in the North West, Mr Byrne who was previously an area manager for Total Physiotherapy, has partnered with a Lancs-based business angel. Shaz Sulaman has helmed a number of private investment firms and as Sales Director took former retailer Phones 4u from 80 to 350 stores. Mr Sulaman has set out plans to launch a physio-led gym brand. The firm intends to measure its success by the results it gets for patients not the number of clinics they grow to. The duo will focus on prevention and minimising recurrence for patients believing this is the best way to boost the clinics’ reputation.

Mr Sulaman says:

“I have been involved in many businesses and am accustomed to rapid growth. I know that as long as you are the best at what you do, success will follow. Back that up by being the first-to-innovate and customers will want to try you out. Andy has the perfect approach to apply these principles across True Physio and take the business to the next level, including brand extension into gym sites.”

Acquiring independents has fuelled the rapid growth of the portfolio that spans the North West including Manchester and Lancashire. Andy believes that his unique business model brings benefits to the clinics that are now trading as True Physio, underpinned by the high rate of resolving customer problems. He explains:

“Our business model moves away from relying on personal injury referrals via insurance companies. To sustain a clinic purely on insurance work, less experienced therapists have to be used. We directly employ only experienced physiotherapists and the basis of our consultancy is empowering the patient. We give back control to customers when many start off thinking there is no light at the end of the tunnel.”

The company has created twenty jobs, with more in the pipeline for 2019. They are spread across six outlets in Manchester, Sale, Whalley, Skipton, Barnoldswick and Lancaster . The firm is one of a handful of UK physio firms that uses an app to provide patients with a unique interactive explanation of the challenges they are facing.

Andy explains:

“We are in the process of installing interactive white boards into all the clinics.  Instead of using a model or hand held diagram, we project the area of anatomy causing the problem onto a screen. The technology then allows us to highlight cause and effect of the patient’s problems. This deeper understanding boosts how clients embrace the treatment. The net result is more than 90% of clients experiencing life-changing improvements within a month.”

The firm uses a blend of treatments including massage, mobilisation, electrotherapy, rehabilitation and posture correction to improve conditions, mainly among sports participants and office workers who spend too much time at their desks. The firm report that the growing ageing population has fuelled a separate generation of patients seeking out help for general aches and pains.

True Physio is also developing a new web site allowing patients to search and book appointments across all six clinics on a single platform.