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5,800 HSE staff off work due to infection or close contact status

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One in every 25 Health Service Executive (HSE) staff is currently off work due to Covid-19 infection or being a close contact of a case.

The 5,800 employees who are absent amounts to 4 per cent of total staffing and compares to 1,800 a month ago.

About 1,000 procedures have had to be cancelled due to the surge in cases, HSE chief executive Paul Reid said on Wednesday.

HSE staff are exhausted, frustrated and tired due to the pandemic, Mr Reid told the Oireachtas health committee. He pointed out staffing numbers have increased by 11,500 and beds by 800 since the start of last year.

A further 50 beds will be delivered by the end of this year and 296 more next year, HSE chief operating officer Anne O’Connor said.

Up to 350 ICU beds are to be made available under surge capacity during the current wave of Covid-19, Mr Reid told the committee.

Normally, about 300 beds are available, but this number is being increased in consultation with hospitals, who are still working through these arrangements, he said.

Mr Reid acknowledged difficulties people are having in being tested for the virus, but said 82 per cent were getting “first-day” appointments.

He said 210,000 PCR tests have been carried out in the past week, with a record 26,000 performed on one day. A “phenomenal” one million tests have been completed in the past six or seven days.

Further health staff have been redeployed to testing, and Defence Forces staff have also been redeployed to this work, he added. The HSE has taken capacity from private operators performing 1,000 tests a day, and major automation is being looked at, he said.

A total of 560,000 boosters have so far been administered, and a further 70,000 third shots given to people who are immunocompromised, Mr Reid said.

The administration of boosters to over-80s and residents of long-term care facilities is substantially complete, he said. More than half – 190,000 – of over-70s have been boosted along with 43,000 over-60s.

In the first week of administering boosters to over-60s, only 25,000 met the criterion of five months having passed since their primary vaccine, he pointed out. But this figure increased to 120,000 by the second week of the rollout.

Mr Reid said it was intended to provide boosters to 230,000 people a week in vaccination centres, GP surgeries and pharmacies, rising to 270,000 from next week. Mass vaccination centres will administer 140,000 to 160,000, GPs will adminster 80,000, and pharmacists 20,000 to 30,000.

Boosters for those with underlying conditions are being expedited, but people in their 50s will likely only start receiving booster appointments toward the end of December, he said.

There were 130 Covid-19 patients in ICU on Wednesday, he said.

Social Democrat TD Roisin Shortall asked why half the allocated home help hours have not been used this year, when 400 people are waiting for a carer to be assigned to them, and 100 patients are waiting in hospital for the provision of home care.

Ms O’Connor said funding was “better than ever” but securing qualified carers was a “real challenge” and impacting significantly on provision.

The HSE is looking at different way of engaging carers, including an internship approach, she said.

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Barwood Homes invests in Woodville resi scheme (GB)

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Harworth Group plc has completed the sale of an eight-acre land parcel at Woodville, Derbyshire to Barwood Homes for the delivery of 73 new houses. This represents Harworth’s first transaction with the Northampton-based housebuilder. The land parcel forms part of a 53-acre regeneration site which is owned by Beepart Ltd, part of Dyson Group, the Sheffield-based former manufacturer of industrial materials. Harworth is promoting the site on its behalf through a Planning Promotion Agreement. In April 2022, South Derbyshire District Council granted outline consent for the creation of up to 300 homes on the site, in addition to a c.30,000ft² local center with convenience retail and leisure amenities and over 150,000ft² of employment space for a range of uses.

 

The wider site has been unlocked by the delivery of Derbyshire County Council’s Woodville to Swadlincote Regeneration Route, which opened to traffic in December 2021, providing better access to Swadlincote and traffic relief in Woodville, as well as improved connectivity across the site. Preparation works will commence shortly for the next phases of residential and employment land sales at the development.

 

Ed Catchpole, Regional Director for Yorkshire & Central at Harworth, commented: “This sale is a fantastic start to the development at Woodville and we are pleased to welcome Barwood Homes to the site, who will deliver high-quality new housing for the local community. Our focus is now on bringing forward the rest of the development, utilising our extensive experience in the remediation of complex sites, including earthworks and infrastructure, to ready the remaining residential and employment land.”

 

Luke Simmons, Managing Director of Barwood Homes, added: “We are delighted to be working alongside Harworth on this exciting development. The team is looking forward to engaging with the local community as we gear up to deliver a scheme of excellent quality in design, build and service.”

 

Gavin Rosson, Managing Director of Dyson Group, added: “This first sale of a residential portion of the site is an important step in unlocking the full development potential of the whole, something we have been trying to achieve for many years. Such development will help regenerate Woodville and the surrounding area, somewhere we have had a presence since 1967 and are delighted to participate in.”

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Mansion near village home to Premier League footballers mocked for looking like a ‘leisure centre’

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‘It looks like a leisure centre from 1994!’: House hunters mock design for new £4.8m mansion near village popular with Premier League footballers

  • The six-bed mansion in Mobberley, Cheshire has been brought to life using CGI photos
  • The property sits across from Knutsford, home to top flight stars Wayne Rooney, John Stones and Kyle Walker
  • Listed for £4.8m, the house will include a swimming pool, spa, gym, cinema room and safe room for security 

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A six-bed mansion listed for £4.8 million in a sought-after location, popular with Premier League footballers, has been compared to ‘a leisure centre from 1994’.

The three-floored house, which has not even been built yet, has been brought to life using CGI photos.

The property is set to boast an underground garage, swimming pool, sunken spa pool and gym.

There will also be a cinema, games room, music room and a safe room for added security.

However, one house hunter joked: ‘If you are searching for a dream house that looks like a medium sized market town leisure centre, from 1994…

The proposed development (not pictured) is situated close to Knutsford (above) which is popular with Premier League footballers including Wayne Rooney, John Stones and Kyle Walker

The proposed development (not pictured) is situated close to Knutsford (above) which is popular with Premier League footballers including Wayne Rooney, John Stones and Kyle Walker

‘£4.8 million and this baby’s yours.’

 Another added, ‘The multiple toilets and changing rooms just add to that feel.’ 

The house, located in Mobberley, Cheshire is just across from the village Knutsford, home to many top flight stars like Wayne Rooney, John Stones and Kyle Walker. 

The six-bed pad will be set in six acres of land amid the countryside and will have a lift linking all the floors for maximum luxury.

The house – which has just been reduced in price – is being sold by Savills and advertised through Rightmove.

The listing reads: ‘A rare opportunity to create a unique and spectacular family home offering over 22,500 sq ft of accommodation set in approx six acres of land.

‘The property when completed will offer incredibly light, airy, spacious accommodation.

‘The accommodation is thoughtfully laid out over three floors with a flexible layout that is ideal for modern family living and entertaining on a grand scale.’

Home hunters have compared the house to a council-run leisure centre due to its appearance from the outside

Home hunters have compared the house to a council-run leisure centre due to its appearance from the outside

One user added: 'The multiple toilets and changing rooms just add to that feel'

One user added: ‘The multiple toilets and changing rooms just add to that feel’

One comment read, 'Confused by this. Does the insane price tag actually include the cost of the build? 'It says it's an "opportunity to create"

One comment read, ‘Confused by this. Does the insane price tag actually include the cost of the build? ‘It says it’s an “opportunity to create” 

One comment read, ‘Confused by this. Does the insane price tag actually include the cost of the build? ‘It says it’s an “opportunity to create”.

‘Are you just getting the land and planning permission? And for that right I’d like a few more of the CGI images since you can’t actually, you know, view it.’

Another user replied: ‘I think that’s just the land.

‘Crazy eh, it’s been reduced a few times too, unsurprisingly.’

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Thackeray Group sells London office development for over €35.5m (GB)

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Thackeray Group has sold its Assembly Rooms office development in Putney to a private investor for more than €35.5m (£30m).Assembly Rooms is the first new office development in Putney for over a decade. Designed by Jo Cowen Architects, it provides 26,624ft² of office and retail space over basement, ground, and three upper floors, as well as a gym and panoramic roof terrace to ensure a healthy work-life balance. The Assembly Rooms was designed to ensure a highly sustainable destination through reducing energy usage, increasing positive environmental diversity, and its commitment to the health and well-being of employees.

 

The development was put on the market in April after it was let to Gallaher Limited and NatWest. Gallaher Limited signed a 10-year lease for the 22,218ft² of office space, while NatWest signed a 15-year lease for a 4,406ft² bank on the ground floor and basement.

 

Antony Alberti, CEO and co-founder of Thackeray Group, said: “The sale of the Assembly Rooms follows the successful completion of our business plan for the development and endorses our decision to carry out the first office development in Putney for a decade. It takes our disposals so far this year to £70 million, which provides us with equity for reinvestment into more active opportunities”.

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