Martin Cunningham, Physiotherapist, Co-Director of Mac Physiotherapy & Pilates, tells us about working across the world, in a variety of sectors, and how MSKPN is now helping him to grow a successful business.

“MSKPN – it’s like having a CEO and management team around you”


We specialise in the prevention, treatment and rehab of MSK and sport injuries

Myself and my wife Annika founded the clinic in 2015 in Stourbridge, West Midlands and we now have an admin team and four PT physios, out of our own purpose-built clinic and studio within a local health centre.


Looking at options for purchase v lease

We have been at a crossroads since Covid started, as we were looking into options to move to new premises due to natural growth after subletting for 5 years. We thought the natural step would be to lease, whilst we continue to save to purchase in 5 years’ time.


As we’re actively looking to grow, I’ve got real advice from MSKPN members about the pros and cons of buying and leasing – some have said buy as it’s the best thing we’ve ever done, some have said it was very stressful as they didn’t budget enough, and others have preferred to lease. They talk about the things you are unaware of such as fire regulations, ability to grow, not buying what you need today and flipping forward to the future. Also questions over maintenance, noise, cleanliness etc.


I set up my own private practice three years into my career

After graduating from Liverpool University with a physio degree, I worked as a physio for 5 years at the Royal Liverpool NHS hospital working primarily in MSK. I also set up my own practice, working out of a Rugby Club in Widnes at weekends. It was the traditional story, I wanted to be a professional sports person and you realise you can’t be a pro, but look at ways to work in rugby and football. I was lucky enough to secure a role as an Academy physio at Glasgow Warriors Rugby Club and I got to work with the first team, working with Scottish international players.


I really enjoyed it, but my wife and I wanted to travel and we stayed in rural Australia for 6 months and Sydney for 18 months – that really opened our eyes to private practice. I have always wanted to own my own business. I wanted to have control over my work life balance (I say that with a smile on my face).

MSK physiotherapy has given me so many options – the ability to work in the NHS, private practice, sport, elite professional and weekend warrior, I’ve always known that’s what I wanted to do.


I equally enjoy the clinical side and the business side

I love the variety of my job and the constant evolution. You never stop learning clinically and are constantly improving your skills, knowledge and personal development.

I’m doing a full-time clinical role with 30 hours a week and then 15 hours of business. I get a buzz from the business side and that’s where the MSKPN has come in for me to provide guidance and mentorship.


MSKPN has given me a great sounding board to talk to other physios in private practice. By becoming part of MSKPN, there is the freedom to ask direct questions because there’s physios in other areas of the country who you are not in competition with so are willing to share information.


You can ask what you like with no bars held and 9 times out of 10 you’ll get the answer

It could be about charging; what associated costs are involved in a lease; what happens if the boiler breaks or the roof leaks; how are you retaining staff or employing staff?

“By becoming part of MSKPN there is the freedom to ask any question you like and get the answer you need.”


Membership of MSKPN was a game changer

It was in the summer of 2020 where I left another body and joined MSKPN as I became disillusioned. I was introduced to MSKPN via Jack Chew and went to one of the free talks. I liked the language and the open and honest conversation. MSKPN stepped up for me and got a roundtable going with the insurance companies during April 2020. It started a dialogue and has led data collection. I’m looking into how we make it work in practice for us.


MSKPN is a very fresh organisation

It consists of people who are actually physios, running businesses and facing the same problems. People like me who are considered a small practice and larger organisations. People are sharing resources and ideas and it’s a very positive influence.


We’re sometimes scared to ask for help

We all invest in our clinical knowledge but we’re naturally reluctant to look at the business side of things. We’re worried that business advice makes you salesy, but this is advice from physios with good intentions. It’s ethical and all about good practice. It’s not about profit or sales. It’s about putting systems in place and having better business acumen to make better business decisions.

That’s what you get from MSKPN. Real, honest advice from people who have been there and done it or are doing it with you.


I get the impression, when I recommend it, that people think – isn’t MSKPN just for the big boys in London. But that’s not the case – it’s for all of us multiple small practices out there too.
It’s been such as great resource, great value for money. Through MSKPN we have someone who is taking us in the right direction.