It's really important to us that Medstars is as simple and hassle-free as possible for you to use. Please do get in touch if you have any questions or are experiencing difficulty with using our website.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Medstars was set up to help patients find the right paid-for healthcare for them. It is not a healthcare provider, but we aim to steer patients towards suitable practitioners, via either our curated online database of expert specialists, or Medstars Compass, our personalised ‘search, find and book’ service. It doesn’t matter whether you are paying for yourself or have health insurance – our goal is to help you find the right health specialist for you.
We offer two services: 1) Medstars Expert Online Platform This is a database of selected medical and regulated allied healthcare practitioners. We hold details of a small number of really good practitioners in each specialty, those that we feel are particularly expert in their field. Patients can browse the database, and use our website to send a message to one or more of these experts asking for an appointment. 2) Medstars Compass Medstars Compass is a personalised ‘search, find and book’ clinical concierge service for those who need help finding the right practitioner. We know that finding the right doctor can be a challenge because family and friends often ask us for advice. Our experts will talk to you to find out what you want from a practitioner, and then research and shortlist three suitable options for you, before booking you an appointment with your chosen option. Practitioners we recommend through Medstars Compass don’t have to be included in our database.
Any patient can browse Medstars’ online platform of practitioners, and also set up an account on the site. Only selected practitioners are eligible to join our online platform, and joining is by invitation or formal application only. We select those with particular expertise in their field, perhaps in a specific technique, or with particular knowledge of one area. We try to have a geographical spread of practitioners. It’s early days, but we are growing and our aim is to have around five or six practitioners in each specialty across each geographical area. However this is less important than finding people with the right expertise. If you think you may be suitable, please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org to apply, explaining why you think you should be included.
We want Medstars to showcase outstanding experts in their fields. When you see a practitioner on Medstars, you will know that they have some particular expertise or skill, or that they are especially well-regarded in their field. It goes without saying that all must be registered with one of the statutory healthcare regulators such as the General Medical Council, and we also favour those working out of CQC-registered premises. The process of selecting practitioners is not a precise science. We use our clinical networks to find people who are well-regarded by their peers. We favour those who also work within the NHS, because we know that jobs at top NHS teaching hospitals are not easy to obtain. We like practitioners with extra qualifications and demonstrated expertise or skills in particular areas. We look online to see who has spoken at conferences, or published research in peer-reviewed journals, as we know those are the practitioners are who keen to push the boundaries of medical knowledge and practice. We also look for evidence of outstanding communication skills – whether this is authoring patient information leaflets, advocating for patient and carer groups, writing articles in the lay press, blogging or appearing on television to communicate expertise in a straightforward empathic way. Finally, we talk with all our practitioners to make sure that we understand what really makes them tick. If you think you may have what it takes to become a Medstars practitioner, please contact us via email@example.com to apply, explaining why you think you should be included.
Medstars Compass is our personalised ‘search, find and book’ service. It is, effectively, an affordable clinical concierge service that focuses on the areas of the private healthcare system that patients find most difficult to manage: identifying a suitable practitioner, and then booking an appointment. It draws upon our expert clinical network to find the right clinician for you. Our experts will talk to you to find out what you want from a practitioner, and then shortlist three suitable options for you, before booking you an appointment with your chosen option if you request it.
Medstars is run by expert practitioners. We therefore have a wide knowledge of the healthcare system, as well as a network of contacts in healthcare around the country. These are our starting points for finding suitable practitioners. We use online resources to research potential practitioners further, for example, to ensure that they provide private healthcare, and meet any requirements specified by patients, such as geographical location. Of course we check all potential providers against the regulators’ lists to ensure that they are included. Once we have narrowed down the list, we make telephone contact with secretaries to ensure the practitioner will be available, what their initial fees are and to see how long patients have to wait for an appointment.
Yes. We charge each practitioner included on our site a flat rate fee of £250 per year. We do not receive any percentage of their fees, or any other incentives to include them on our site. Because we are doctors ourselves, some of those on the site will be known to us through our professional networks or personally. We don’t receive additional income of any kind from practitioners recommended through Medstars Compass. Some practitioners we recommend may be on our website, others won’t be. Our only income from Medstars Compass is from the fees paid directly to us by patients for the service itself. We don’t accept paid advertising or incentives from clinics or hospitals.
A profile on the Medstars online platform costs £250 per year, payable upfront.
The practitioner fee allows you to create a profile on the Medstars site. This means that patients can see your profile, and use the site to send you an email requesting an appointment. We promote our Medstars practitioners via social and mainstream media and you will benefit from this promotional activity. We also expect to provide you with opportunities to work with our marketing and PR team to prepare high quality content such as blogs, articles and videos to boost your profile and demonstrate your expertise. We will share these via social media, and you will also be able to share them yourself. This type of content creation will require you to provide suitable input to our experienced team (we know you’re busy and we will do most of the hard work!) We’ll provide you with links from your own website to your Medstars profile. With our focus on working with the very best, we want to be a ‘kite mark’ stamp of excellence and honest values in private healthcare. We hope you’ll be as proud to be associated with Medstars as we are to showcase your expertise.
Please check if you are signing in as a patient or a practitioner. At the top of the login page you can see by seeing which word practitioner or patient is underlined. Ensure this is correct for you. If this doesn't work please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Medstars expert practitioner database is free to access, browse and send appointment requests from. The database is of private regulated healthcare practitioners, so the practitioner will then charge you a fee for your appointment. They will display their initial fees clearly on their profiles. Medstars is not responsible for the fees charged by the practitioners on our database, and we don’t take a percentage of the fees. For Medstars Compass, patients pay a flat-rate fee of £150 upfront. This fee covers an initial telephone conversation with one of our clinical experts, to make sure that we understand what you are looking for in a practitioner, a search report with a shortlist of three suitable practitioners with their initial fees and next availability, and the booking of an appointment with your chosen practitioner. We do not offer you specific clinical advice or diagnosis.
If you want to send a message to a practitioner asking for an appointment, you will need to provide your contact details. If you agree, we may hold these details and use them from time to time to send you useful information or details of special offers. You can opt out of this if you prefer. For Medstars Compass, as well as contact details, during your telephone consultation you will also be asked broad details of your problem, including your symptoms, their duration, and any medication or treatment that you have already received. You will need to state any requirements you have for a suitable practitioner (for example, whether you want someone who practices near where you live or work, or if you wish to see a female doctor). We may need to pass some of the information you provide on to potential practitioners, but we understand that it is otherwise confidential, and will not share it with anyone else. The Medstars clinician you speak to will be a regulated health practitioner who will abide by the confidentiality rules of their professional body. Please do look at our terms and privacy policies. Additionally, we are registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office Ref. ZA062209 and handle all data in accordance with the Data Protection Act.
Becoming a member simply means creating an online account with a password. It’s free for patients. It is not necessary to become a member to browse the database or use Medstars Compass, although we’d love you to join our community if you like what we do. Members can opt into our newsletters and special offers, and receive a discount on Medstars Compass. We hope to introduce secure messaging services, online reviews and other features soon. Only members will be able to use these services.