Legal Form and Governance

The Fed is a company limited by shares which: 

  • Is registered at Companies House 
  • Is owned by its shareholders, who are the Practices, and run by an elected Executive Board; 
  • Each practice has nominated a GP to hold its shares on the practice’s behalf 
  • Is governed by its Articles of Association and a Shareholders’ Agreement between its members 
  • Offers limited liability; 
  • Allowed Practices to buy shares at a value and limit of £1 per 1,000 population with the retention of a defined number of shares for later issue if required. 

Our Shareholders’ Agreement: 

  • States how the Board of Directors will be elected 
  • Sets out the shareholders’ rights and obligations 
  • Regulates the sale of shares in the company 
  • Describes how the company is going to be run 
  • Describes what will happen if a shareholder wishes to leave the company 
  • Provides an element of protection for minority shareholders and the company 
  • Defines how important decisions are to be made 
  • Provides guidance in relation to tendering for services
  • In summary, it is an agreement between the shareholder practices, which is based on the agreed Articles of Association, and vests the authority for day-to-day running of the organisation in an Executive Board.

The Board is accountable to shareholders on an on-going basis and specifically through an Annual General Meeting or through Extraordinary General Meetings called by the membership.

The Shareholders’ Agreement governs the relationship between the shareholders and major issues of governance within the Fed. The governance framework sets out the day-to-day requirements and detail.

Whilst the Fed is not an NHS body and therefore, unlike NHS trusts and Foundation Trusts, is not established by statute or subject to the constraints on powers of being a statutory body, we may, depending on the scale of services provided, be subject to external regulation by the Care Quality Commission (upon provision of services) and our GPs will continue to comply with their own professional standards as set out by the GMC in “Good Medical Practice”.