Natasha Price: Taking the next step

Price’s business, Central Health – which she co-founded with business partner Simon Shepard – now operates out of six central London locations, with 40 physiotherapists working for the business.

She explains: “I’d been working as an NHS physio for about ten years, and was getting frustrated about the badly managed waiting lists. I met Simon through a shoulder surgeon – we’re both shoulder specialists – and we decided to form our own practice together. 

Shepard had already acquired a private practice in 1996, but brought Price on board in 1999 – they now each own half of the business.

“Like a married couple, we’ve had our rough patches, but we complement each other really well now,” says Price.

“We drive each other forward. I’m more risk-averse, so having a male partner has been a good thing.”

Although Central Health already has a decent £2m+ turnover, both Price and Shepard are eager to take their business onwards and upwards.

Price says that the recession hasn’t affected the business that much. In fact, Central Health actually saw a spike of business 18 months ago, as more people were coming to them with stress-related problems.

As well as working with private paying and NHS clients, Central Health also offers corporate services (mainly dealing with stress and performance management), and physiotheraphy at the exclusive Hospital of St John & St Elizabeth in St Johns Wood. 

In total, the business has around 15,000 customers on its books, including some big names, such as TV show Gladiators and Middlesex County Cricket Club.

“We’re quite lucky that this is a very steady sector – people will always have a bad back,” she says. “But this year will be crucial for us. I’m going to focus on developing the physiotherapy side of the business, and Simon will grow the stress-management corporate business.”

This two-pronged approach, hopes Price, will take the business to the next level by opening new doors.

“But it’s not just going to happen – you have to be tenacious. We’re passionate about what we do and we want to offer quality services, driving the business forward.

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