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About Us

What is a GP Federation?

A federation is a group of general practices or surgeries forming an organisational entity and working together within the local health economy.

GP Federations have been established in Northern Ireland with two main aims :

- To support and protect GP Practices.

- To help deliver the transformation agenda in Health and Social Care.


The creation of the federation model has been led and funded by GPs themselves.

There are currently 17 fully incorporated GP Federations covering all areas of Northern Ireland, all of which are owned entirely by GPs.

GP Federations aim to provide better care, delivered in a more responsive way and closer to home, for patients registered on the lists of practices within the Federation. The focus is on working across the local health and social care community, in collaboration with a wide number of agencies, to design and implement innovative healthcare strategies and ways of delivering high quality care.

What is a Federation Support Unit?

The Southern FSU is established as a Community Interest Company Limited by Guarantee in the not for profit sector, with any surplus created to be reinvested for the good of the community it serves locally or wider primary care. 

It is effectively a management company owned by Member Federations, with its core purpose to ensure that clinicians are:

“Free to focus on ensuring they provide the best clinical outcomes for their patients while improving the quality of care patients receive”

The FSU provides Member Federations with centralised management support, including planning expertise, accounting, contracting, communication both internal and external and human resources.  

Current projects/workstreams across Member Federations include:

  • Multidisciplinary Teams 

  • General Practice Pharmacists 

  • Advanced Nurse Practitioner trainee scheme 

  • General Practice Nurse trainee scheme

  • Practice-based learning 

  • GP Elective Care Services for Gynae / Vasectomy

  • Advanced Paramedic Practitioners

  • Salaried GPs

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Structure of Federations


The company is “owned” on a share basis by each of its Member Practices, governed by a shareholders agreement giving “exclusive rights” to the shareholders.  

Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that has a unified model of Federations governed by a unified Members Agreement covering its entire population. 

The daily work of the Federation is led by an appointed Board of Directors, with 1 representative from each Member Practice making up a separate Members Committee, in which the major governance authority of the organisation invested. 

The Members’ Committee has the authority to appoint Directors in line with the rules of the Members Agreement.  It is these Directors that form the Board of Directors who are charged within the delegated authority of the members to take responsibility for the managing of the Federation. 

The Board of Directors meets on a monthly basis with the Members Committee meeting twice yearly.  

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