During the first few years of practise we both developed a really clear picture of how we wanted to practise, and what we wanted our own business to look like one day. After three years of practising, we decided it was time we took the step of branching out on our own. In the meantime, we had married (after Alex finally got round to asking me!), and become the proud parents of Jock, our beloved dog!
Shortly after returning from our honeymoon we saw a Chiropractic practice for sale in Warrington, and went to have a look. To cut a long story, involving lots of negotiating and big decisions, short, we became owners of Alba Chiropractic Clinic in February 2009. Prior to Jessica (and Jock!) the practice was my baby. Our vision was to provide care to the local community in a way that stood out as being different. We wanted our patients to know (even though it sounds cheesy) that we really cared. We continually strived for excellence in everything we did, and toward the end of 2009, and then again at the end of 2012, we were awarded quality marks by the Royal College of Chiropractors.
Our vision was also to enable people who are otherwise unable to afford private Chiropractic care to access care at our clinic. Back pain has an extremely far reaching impact on people's lives; physically, emotionally and financially, and we wanted to be able to help people in this. In May 2012, Merseyside Primary Care Trust tendered a contract for neck and back pain through the Any Qualified Provider scheme. We knew this was our chance, and proceeded to complete the application. This was the biggest thing I had ever undertaken, and without the help of some very wonderful people we simply would not have managed to complete it. I might add here that I was 8 weeks pregnant at the time!
In December 2012 we signed our first NHS contract, and at the time were one of only two clinics in the country to hold such a contract! We were immensely proud of our achievement, and couldn't wait to start providing the service to people who simply could not afford it privately. However, things had to be put on hold, as Jessica Lily decided to arrive on the 2nd December 2012 - two weeks late - which was a blessing as I was still directing builders in our clinic until a week prior to that!
Jessica has been the most enormous blessing to our lives. It has been a real challenge juggling a beautiful baby who I would spend ALL of my time with if I could, and a business with a new contract that is just getting off the ground! But we have been blessed with a very happy baby, and amazing friends and family who help us out A LOT!
We continue to provide high quality care to the local Warrington population in our private clinic, and provide an NHS service in Halton, St Helens and Liverpool (Warrington Primary Care Trust has not yet tendered a contract - the moment they do we will apply!). I currently do not practice as a Chiropractor, but work three days a week as Practice Manager. Prior to Jessica I was always adamant that I had trained to be a Chiropractor, and that is what I loved and would always do. But I am actually really enjoying my new role, and still get enough time to be a Mum to Jessica. I miss my patients, but still get to see them in the clinic from time to time which is lovely - but to be honest they're all more interested in Jessica than me these days!
I am now 30 weeks pregnant, and so we expect life to get even more interesting from here on in. Alba is growing rapidly too, so the next few years are going to be an exciting time of expanding our business and our family...watch this space!
If you would like more information about our NHS service, please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on our clinic in Warrington, please visit www.albachiropractic.co.uk.