Physiotherapist hands over Uppermill clinic after 25 years

A PHYSIOTHERAPIST is passing on her Uppermill-based business into safe hands after 25 years in charge.

Catherine Johnstone opened Saddleworth Physiotherapy Clinic in 1996 and has established a popular and successful practice, as well as balancing a busy home life.

Catherine Johnstone hands over the clinic to Stuart Cole

Now, she is handing over the reins to Stuart Cole, who has worked at the clinic for 16 years, as she looks forward to a well-earned retirement.

Catherine qualified as a physio in 1985 and worked in Oldham, Rochdale and Tameside before launching her own clinic in 1996.

She explained: “I have always been passionate about my career and began to investigate the possibility of setting up in my own practice.

“It was really difficult even then to find premises in Uppermill with parking and I looked at a couple of places but they would have needed planning. 

“I found this one and it didn’t need planning as it was being used commercially already.

“When I opened Saddleworth Physio Clinic, my daughters were only five and three and I wonder how I ever managed it! 

“I would often pick the children up after nursery or school, take them home for dinner then return to the clinic after bath-time to treat more patients! 

“I could not have done all of this without the unending support of my husband Iain. He has also been the maintenance manager, security manager and IT manager at the clinic over the last 25 years.”

Catherine has been reducing her workload over the last three years, partly due to developing an arthritic neck and hands, and handed over the business officially to Stuart on
March 31.

She added: “I have loved every day. I have met some incredible people and learnt so much from them.

“I am proud to have treated several generations of many families and still treat some patients whom I first met in 1992 while working in Rochdale.

“I will miss the daily contact with patients and my staff who have worked extremely hard with me to achieve my goals and ensure the ongoing success of the business. 

“I know I am leaving the clinic in a strong position. Stuart shares my passion, drive and determination to achieve the best outcomes for patients.”

Catherine plans to spend her time walking, playing golf and has holiday plans when Covid restrictions allow. She is also busy as a community first responder and currently as a vaccinator.

Catherine Johnstone hands over the clinic to Stuart Cole

Stuart is ready to follow in her business footsteps and ensure the clinic continues to be busy and successful.

He said: “Running a clinic is always something I wanted to do. I’ve been here 16 years and I’ve got to know the people and the area and I love it.

“It is a well-established business and there are lots of families who come in – sometimes we see grandparents, parents and their children! There’s a real community feel to it.

“Even in the first few days of taking over I’ve seen how much there is to it. It will be a challenge but it will be great.

“It’s been a smooth transition, and we’re getting busier as lockdown lifts now and people have more confidence to come back in.”

Stuart will lead a team of three highly experienced physios and an administrator, and they have strong working relationships with local GP practices and many musculoskeletal clinics in the area.

He hopes to eventually welcome more physios to their team, keep up to date with evolving treatments and research, and post Covid will refresh the aesthetics of the clinic.

• Find out more about Saddleworth Physiotherapy Clinic, their services or book an appointment by calling the clinic on 01457 871777, email or visit

Full Covid protocols are in place according to government guidance to ensure a safe environment.

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