Musculoskeletal Partners Network


In 2016, a few providers met by chance at a conference and agreed that the sustainability of our investment in quality MSK services was under threat due to a longstanding lack of understanding and data. Through the networks of those founding individuals, others joined the quarterly informal meetings and began to find consensus resulting in agreement to form a trade association. The Musculoskeletal Partners Network (MSKPN) was formed in spring 2018 and it sits at the heart of the industry to give providers of MSK services a collective voice. The current market is fragmented and there is no other network of its kind available today, therefore the MSKPN provides guidance to help raise standards and educate commissioners and system leaders of the benefits of investing in quality MSK services to patients, purchasers and staff working in those organisations.

Our work is focused around
  • To improve and promote MSK sector standards support their implementation
  • Use a data led approach to educate consumers and commissioners on the economic benefits of engaging with high quality MSK services.
  • Provide commercial expertise and network support to our members.
  • Be the voice of independently owned MSK organisations and understand and support the unique challenges they face.

About the sector

MSK conditions accounted for more than 22% of the total burden of ill health (morbidity) in the UK, with low back and neck being the biggest cause of ill health overall across all ages.1

(1. Global Burden of Disease Collaborative Network. Global Burden of Disease Study 2017 (GBD 2017) Results. Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), Seattle, 2018.)

What is MSK?

  • 200+ separate conditions including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, back, neck, hip, knee, traumatic degeneration, inflammatory, infective, neoplastic, pain, bone disease and osteoporosis
  • Associated with a large number of co-morbidities, including diabetes, depression and obesity


The MSK challenge

  • MSK in England costs £7-10bn pa and is the 4th largest area of NHS spending
  • According to the 2001 Health Survey for England 40% of all disabilities were attributed to musculoskeletal conditions
  • In UK 9.6m adults, 150k children, 1 in 4 adults affected by longstanding MSK problems


Primary care

  • 30% of all GP consultations are in relation to MSK conditions
  • MSK conditions are the most common reason for repeat GP consultations.


Emergency services

  • Over 3.5 million calls per year to emergency services relate to MSK injuries or conditions



  • The MSK problems are the reason behind one in eight sick-notes. The average length of certified sickness absence is 10 weeks. They are the single biggest cause of disability in the UK with the economic cost estimated at over £7 billion per year in relation to absence from work.
  • More years lived with MSK disability than any other disease – 30.9m working days lost Office for National Statistics 2016
  • 60% of people who are on long-term sick leave cite MSK problems as the reason and patients with MSK conditions form the second largest group (22%) receiving incapacity benefits.

Useful Resources

Useful websites:

Meet the board

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Chairman: Simon Devane 

Chief Executive, Pure Sports Medicine

Simon joined Pure Sports Medicine in 2007, during the early stages of the company’s development, he has held multiple roles within the company, including Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director before being appointed CEO in 2015. Previously, Simon was a Consultant & Project Manager for British Telecom, BP and Network Rail. Having worked across 5 different sectors in the last 15 years, Simon has seen and experienced the good and the bad of different business structures and management philosophies. This experience has been invaluable in planning the growth and strategic direction of Pure Sports Medicine.

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Treasurer: Rupert Crowfoot

Chief Executive, Six Physio

An ex Infantry Officer with a broad, generalist business background having fulfilled a number of operational roles up to board level in a variety of FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 FMCG and Industrial organisations. Rupert holds an MBA and is responsible for the day to day running of Six Physio and the clinic roll out programme.

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Board Director: Natasha Price

Managing Director, Central Health

I started my physio career in the NHS in various London hospitals, finishing as an MSK ESP (now consultant physiotherapist) at St Marys and the Royal free Hospitals. I joined Central Health Physio in 1999 and built it up from a one room clinic to what it is today.  When CHP first started, there were very few others clinics of any significant size around and we were all lacking in the business acumen needed to get them to grow and thrive. We manged it, but it was not easy. I am passionate about quality, evidence based physiotherapy and felt that could only be delivered in the way that I wanted it to be, privately, without the restriction and red tape of the NHS.

Having had the business for over 20 years, I have employed hundreds of physios and learnt many lessons along the way. I have trained in management, finance, marketing and HR so now have the skills needed to run a business.

I am also very much a hands-on therapist myself and keep very busy clinically too.

As an MSKPN board director, I hope to bring some knowledge from a clinical perspective to the group and am always open to helping any members with any issues they may be having with their own businesses as they grow.

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Board Director: Karen Young

Karen Young, Founder / Partner SPEAR Physiotherapy

Karen along with her business partner established SPEAR Physiotherapy in 2001. They were inspired after a student elective placement in Australia, where they had seen a more ground breaking and dynamic side to the profession, and wanted to open a clinic with this dynamic ethos in Scotland.

Karen balances working clinically as a Physiotherapist alongside running the business, and with no previous experience in the business world has learnt on the job and by networking with other Physiotherapists to build her business. Working with various sports teams over the years has also helped shape a healthy learning culture in clinic where team is so important to the clinic’s success.Having a business partner to bounce ideas off of has been invaluable in growing the business, but Karen found the help of MSKPN so nurturing and supportive during the pandemic that she wanted to become more involved. She now feels she has upwards of 100 “like minded” business partners on the MSKPN chats that she can bounce ideas off.

Karen is passionate about her profession and delivering high quality services, and wants to help assist MSKPN in driving the quality agenda forward.

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Board Director: Nicola Graham

Managing Director, Tops Health

Nicola graduated as a Physiotherapist in 2005, undertook an MSc, leading to MACP recognition in 2012, and has had a rewarding and successful clinical career as a Specialist Physiotherapist in the NHS, New Zealand, Elite Sport & Private Healthcare. Nicola purchased The Oxford Physiotherapy Service (tops:health) in 2013 and has grown the business and services over the years, acquiring a second Oxfordshire based Physiotherapy business in 2020. Nicola stepped away from a clinical career in 2017, following her second maternity leave, and is in the latter stages of completing an Executive MBA at Warwick Business School. Nicola remains passionate about driving the visibility, quality and innovation within Physiotherapy and hopes her unique skill set across both clinical and commercial will assist MSKPN in achieving their aims.