Jayne Nixon, Clinical Director/Team Lead at Sevenoaks Physiotherapy, tells us about how she came to be a member of MSKPN and the benefits of membership.

“I want to make people think and look at MSKPN in a different way”

Similar minded people, running businesses of a similar size, were really hard to find.
Having been a company owner for 8 years, I’m constantly on the lookout for peers who are serious about driving up quality and standards, to have an intelligent conversation with. We fall between 2 camps, sandwiched between the single-handed practices who are focused on making a living, and the large entities in private or hospital settings. There didn’t seem to be anything out there for us. We are involved in local and national groups, but nothing worked for our needs.

MSKPN has filled a gap in the market for our business and healthcare needs.
When I came across MSKPN I found what I was looking for and quickly started seeing the benefits. I was able to find others who were similar in size, work in a similar way and who have physio and Pilates. This has really helped so that I can find someone to answer my questions or give me their opinion about what they have tried.

What is MSKPN giving you as a growing business?
• Mentorship indirectly – I don’t need direct mentorship but this is giving me ideas, the confidence to bounce things off others, hearing other people ask the question I’m thinking and get the answer.
• Commercial clout – MSKPN has developed a great relationship with Bupa and the insurers which is really reassuring. Other bodies haven’t got the same negotiation and commercial skills and I’ve felt let down by broken promises and a lack of leadership.
• Openness – People are open minded enough to give sensitive commercial information and they’re doing it for the greater good.

What inspired you to be a MSK clinician?
I was a sporty kid and after a work experience day, I came home and said to my mum “this is what I want to do”. It ticked all the boxes – medicine, science, rehab and spending time with people. After studying at the University of Ulster and completing my MSc in Cardiff, I’ve now been a MSK physio for 30 years, working 10 years in the NHS, 10 years at the MOD as head of lower limb trauma and the last 8 years in private practice. I’m a retired Army reservist leaving after 18 years, having served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Tell me about your practice, size and location?
The practice is owned by my family and my business partner’s family. Carolyn’s husband is our business analyst and business director. My husband sits on the board but is not medical and gives business direction. We have a team of about 20 self-employed physios who are all part time. We have a permanent reception team and practice manager. We also have some self-employed chiropodists, podiatrists, sports massage therapists and run a Pilates business in the building which we rent, consisting of 2 studios, a gym and 9 consulting rooms in a standalone building on the high street.

What do you love about your work?
Over the more recent years what I really like is the business side of things. My father owned a couple of successful retail businesses and I guess I’ve absorbed some of this over the years. I enjoy the team aspects of what I do – I’ve always been in team sports or teams in the army. I’ve enjoyed building a team and I like the mentorship, leadership and comradeship the most.

You can spend a lot of time worrying and thinking “am I doing something wrong?”
During the webinars and live events I listen to the commercial side of things and it helps greatly to learn that other people are going through the same problems as me. It can be very frustrating when you come across problems and you think you are the only one with the issue, but it’s largely a UK wide industry-shared problem such as how social environments have changed, staffing issues, educational problems, Covid etc.

What did you do before MSKPN?
We reached out to people, but you have to work hard to find the right people to talk to. Some were open minded clinics further down the country as they could see we weren’t trying to compete with them. Some were experienced but others had very little business experience. However the relationships weren’t sustainable, as people retired or moved on, so it was hard.

The MSKPN provided the environment to come together as a group which saves an enormous amount of time and you know you’re not stepping on people’s toes or creating relationships that are too hard to form.

Members recognise we are not competing against each other
The members understand that information sharing is a good thing. I’m still trying to act as a clinician and run a business and it’s great to receive such honest and open feedback – they don’t hold back!

There is a lot of good information shared, blogs and books to read. I’ve been trying to do this for myself for the last 8 years. Someone suggested a great book the other day which is brilliant – it would have taken me days of research to look into it myself. This type of healthcare is very niche – it’s not the same as running an accountancy firm. We are very isolated. Even osteopaths and chiropractors are better trained in the business sense.

How did you come to be a member of MSKPN?
My business partner found them through a Linked In page. We didn’t come to it right at the beginning of Covid but I wish I had. It was like paddling furiously below the water to keep afloat. I looked back at some of the videos and resources and some of it would have been really useful.

“We don’t have to battle on our own.”

What advice would you give other practices?
I’d tell them to really consider what they’re not currently getting, identify their frustrations and realise there are other people out there who are willing to help. MSKPN is an organisation that can tick all the boxes.

Learn more https://www.mskpn.co.uk/app/uploads/2021/10/Jayne-Nixon-members-story.pdf