Eastern GP Federation Support Unit

Supporting General Practices Across Greater Belfast and Eastern Northern Ireland
Federation Education

What is a GP Federation?

A GP Federation is a group of GP practices, established in 2014, aimed at addressing capacity and workload issues within general practice.  By coming together within a largescale, primary care organisation, it enables economies of scale, not achievable by a single practice.

There are 17 GP Federations across Northern Ireland.  Each GP Federation is owned by GP practices in its geographical area, aligned to the 17 Integrated Care Partnerships.  We are developing the future model of primary care, based on multidisciplinary teams embedded around general practice.  This model enables increased focus on prevention and early intervention and the active management of complex patients to support them to better manage their conditions.

Each GP Federation has established itself as a clinically led, not-for-profit Community Interest Company (Limited by Guarantee) which means that it exists for the benefit of its community and any financial surplus generated must be reinvested in line with the members agreement.

What is a GP Federation Support Unit?

Four Federation Support Units (FSUs) have been set up in NI to support member Federations based in North, South, East and West of the region.

Eastern FSU supports four Belfast GP Federations and four GP Federations in the South East of Northern Ireland.  Details of the Federations we support can be found here. 

Eastern FSU provides corporate affair duties at scale to its member Federations, on a local and regional basis.  This model ensures management and administrative support is more cost effective for member Federations.

In addition, Eastern FSU manages a range of local and regional services, which patient populations benefit from.  A list of these services is provided in the Services section

GP Practice Management Handbook

This project was undertaken by the Practice Managers Advisory Group (PMAG) in Eastern FSU after a need was identified to develop a comprehensive practice management reference guide, specific to Northern Ireland. The handbook has primarily been developed to aid new practice managers (and other staff) with induction into the Primary Care setting; but we also hope it will become a supportive resource for existing managers in their day-to-day business operations.

This was a collaborative working project between EFSU staff, Practice Managers, SPPG, PICRT, HSC Pensions, BSO, NICAN and more.


To deliver innovative healthcare solutions for the benefits of patients across Northern Ireland

Vision statement:

To sustain primary care across Northern Ireland

Who We Are

Member Federations

Recruitment / Careers

Corporate Structure

(Coming Soon)

How Eastern FSU Makes a Difference for the Patient Population

Working Together

By working together, GP Practices can share skills and services, manage workforce pressures, operate more efficiently and more effectively meet the rapidly increasing demand for primary care services.

GP Federations’ strength comes from working collectively, across practices and with other professionals, adopting a ‘no more silos’ approach.  As a result of working within a larger, primary care organisation, we have introduced more specialists into practices to not only reduce the workload of GPs and other clinicians, but to ensure that we provide access to a broad range of care professionals who will best support patients with their care needs.

GP Federation governance structures supports collaborative working and we wish to continue to work with those around us.  We continue to develop robust partnerships with the statutory, business, third and community sectors to collectively roll out programmes that strengthen our capacity to deliver new services outside of secondary care.  Our clinical and non-clinical networks help us to drive innovation across our practices and we love to share the lessons we have learnt and the quality improvements that may benefit others.

We place patient care at the centre of everything we do and although we strive to be an exemplar in primary care, we understand that all primary care must succeed and as such the sustainability of general practice within the system as a whole is critical to us.

Working for GPs

The future model of primary care embeds multi-disciplinary teams (MDT’s) around general practice.  Where funding has been released, GP Federations employ these teams to work alongside GP and other professionals in GP practices.  MDT’s may include pharmacists, nursing staff, allied health professionals and social workers.  MDT’s will provide capacity and skills to proactively support the patient population to address the lifestyle choices that impact upon their health and wellbeing.  MDT’s will have the right tools and skills to diagnose, treat and coordinate the majority of care for their practice’s patient population.  They know the people they serve and understand their needs better than anyone.

The Eastern FSU and GP Federations provide practices with a vehicle that can be ready to provide services at scale, resulting in efficiency savings and simultaneously enhancing the capacity of practices to focus on patient centred care.

Working for you

GP Federations aim to deliver against a model of patient-centred care focussed on prevention, early intervention, supporting independence and wellbeing.  This will enable the focus to move from the treatment of periods of acute illness and reactive crisis approaches, towards a model underpinned by a more holistic approach to health and social care.


GP Practices



News & Updates

GP Practice Management Handbook Launch

This project was undertaken by the Practice Managers Advisory Group (PMAG) in Eastern FSU after a need was identified to develop a comprehensive practice management reference guide, specific to Northern Ireland. The handbook has primarily been developed to aid new...

Nov 8, 2023

RCN Primary Care Nurse Award 2023

GP Federations are delighted to be sponsoring an award for Primary Care Nurses as part of the RCN Northern Ireland Nurse of the Year Awards 2023 which will take place on Thursday 15 June 2023 at the Culloden Hotel, Holywood.

Mar 9, 2023

Warm Hub Information

The Council is running warms hubs across all its community centres in Belfast to ensure older people have a warm space to go this winter.

Dec 8, 2022

Beechwood Anniversary

On 2nd September staff from the Regional Practice in Crisis Rescue Team (PICRT) visited Beechwood Family Practice in Portadown to mark the year anniversary since the contract for the practice was taken over by all 4 Federation Support Units. Congratulations to all...

Sep 21, 2022

Head Office Relocation

Notice of Head Office Relocation – As of 14th Sept 2022 Eastern GP FSU main offices have now moved to Ground Floor, 1 Bradford Court, Belfast, BT8 6RB. We apologise for any inconvenience that you may encounter during our moving in period. If you are having trouble...

Sep 21, 2022

Federation education makes a move back to face to face

Federation education makes a move back to face to face, following two years of online PBL's during the pandemic. We officially started back to face to face education with North Down and Ards PBL on 14th September. We delivered: clinical updates on cardiology and...

Aug 8, 2022