STRUCTURE: Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust has announced it will pay GPs with emergency skills to staff its A&E unit at Pontefract Hospital overnight.

The unit was closed at night last year because emergency consultants could not be found to staff it. The trust had promised it would reopen when possible.

The trust announced this week it had signed a contract with health service provider Nestor Primecare for emergency medicine-skilled GPs to cover the emergency department from 10pm until 8am, seven days a week.

Stephen Eames, Interim Chief Executive of The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “We’re very pleased to announce that we’ve signed this contract which means we are still on track to reopen the department overnight from September as promised.

“We look forward to working in partnership with Primecare. They have extensive experience in providing urgent care services across the country and we’re delighted to be working with them.

“Their team of GPs will work with our own staff including a nurse practitioner, emergency medicine nursing staff and with the on-site support of an anaesthetist. The whole team will provide the necessary care for patients that attend the department between 10pm and 8am.

“It’s important to say that this has always been a short term solution to the issue. The long term future of emergency care at Pontefract will be determined by our clinical services strategy which we will be consulting on widely.”