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Phone skivers cost the Welsh economy £606m

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iphoneWITH apps for everything from communicating with friends to losing weight, smartphones are hard to ignore, and it seems that workers in Wales are increasingly failing to do so whilst at work. Recent research has discovered that the issue is costing the Welsh economy £606m a year in lost productivity, as millions spend time ‘skiving’ at work by checking their mobiles. The research commissioned by business communications firm, Daisy Group, found that the average worker checks their phone for text messages and social media updates eight times each working day, though four per cent admitted reaching for their smartphone as many as 30 times.

Kay Bailey, Head of UC and Mobility Products at Daisy Group, said: “Smartphones are a huge distraction to the working day as the boundaries between personal and work activities continue to blur. The more times someone checks their phone, the more opportunity there is for them to become engrossed in something not work-related. “Giving your phone a quick 30-second text or Twitter check every hour, and sending an odd message doesn’t sound much, but the result is that people are spending the entire working day preoccupied and not focussing on doing their job properly.”

The research suggests that the average worker loses eight minutes of productivity a day through checking their smartphone and sending messages. Taking the average wage of £13 per hour, and the Welsh workforce of 1.4 million, it is estimated that £1.73 of productivity is lost per employee per day, which over the space of a year mounts up to £606m. Businesses with a young workforce are particularly at risk, as the survey found that, among those aged 18-24, one in ten (11%) UK employees waste as much as 20 minutes a day, which adds up to a full day lost every single month.

The research was conducted to assess the demand among UK businesses for ‘mobile device management’. The new cloud-based technology gives organisations more control over smartphones and tablets by letting them monitor and block certain activities, and remotely track and wipe the content of any lost or stolen devices. “Smartphones have emerged over the last five years as a worker’s modern-day Swiss-army knife, helping dramatically improve an employee’s productivity whilst on the move.

However, a lack of discipline amongst workforces, even for just a short period of time, is actually having an adverse effect on the UK economy,” added Bailey. “As organisations across the UK continue to adopt bring-yourown- device strategies, it is vital that businesses implement policies and solutions, such as mobile device management, that help restrict the websites employees can and can’t visit during working hours.”

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Covid-19 vaccination venues and timeline announced for everyone locally over 50

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EVERY person in JCVI priority groups 5 to 9 will be offered a COVID-19 vaccination by 18 April, Hywel Dda University Health Board has confirmed.

While the health board’s vaccination programme has the capacity to offer a vaccine to everyone in groups 5 to 9 by the original target date of 4 April, the delivery plan has had to be adjusted based on confirmed vaccine deliveries.

Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, and Pembrokeshire residents in priority groups 5 to 9 can expect to receive their vaccine as follows:

  • Group 5, people aged 65 – 69 years – delivered by GP practices between 15 February and 12 March
  • Group 6, people aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions and unpaid carers – delivered by GP practices between 22 February and 4 April
  • Group 7, people aged 60 – 64 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 8 March
  • Group 8, people aged 55 – 59 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 22 March
  • Group 9, people aged 50 – 54 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 5 April

The health board currently has mass vaccination centres located in Aberystwyth, Cardigan, Haverfordwest, Tenby, Carmarthen and Llanelli.

Group 6 is significantly the largest cohort to be vaccinated to date and we understand that many in this group will be anxious to receive a vaccine. Please do not contact your GP or the health board to ask about your appointment, you will be contacted directly when it is your turn and we thank you for your patience.

People in groups 7, 8 and 9 will receive a letter with an appointment date and time. Please arrive as close to your appointment time as possible. The letter will include a phone number to contact the health board should you need to rearrange or cancel your appointment but please make every effort to keep your allocated appointment time.

Steve Moore, Chief Executive of Hywel Dda UHB, said: “While  our programme has had to slow  due to supplies, we want to reassure everyone in groups 5 to 9 that our amazing teams of vaccinators and GP practices have the capability and flexibility to deliver our vaccine supplies as they arrive into the region.

“Vaccine supplies will start to increase again from mid-March, and we are confident that everyone living in our three counties in the top 9 priority groups will be offered a vaccine by mid-April.

“In Hywel Dda we have an older population compared to some other health boards and so over 50% of our adult population will have been offered a vaccine by milestone 2.

“To be able to say that as we approach the anniversary of the first national lockdown is nothing short of extraordinary.

“And again, I must say thank you to everyone living in our three counties who continue to come forward in substantial numbers for the vaccine. Uptake remains remarkably high and we hope to see this continue through groups 5 to 9 and into group 10.”

People are asked, wherever possible, to use their own private transport to attend an appointment. Lifts can be accepted from someone in their household or support bubble, but not from anyone else due to the risk of transmission of the virus.

The health board has put in place transport support for anyone who may have difficulty attending their vaccination appointment. If you have no other means of travel, please contact the health board on 0300 303 8322 and we will be happy to assist.

Everyone in priority groups 1 to 4 should have received an offer of a vaccination. If you have not been contacted, or have changed your mind, please contact your GP at the earliest opportunity. No one will be left behind.

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Nolton Haven: Man hospitalised after getting into difficulties in sea

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A MAN was taken to hospital after getting into difficulties in the sea off Nolton Haven on Friday.

Emergency services were alerted at 2.40pm on February 26 by a 999 call to the control centre.

The Little Haven RNLI lifeboat, Broad Haven Coastguard, an ambulance crew and a Coastguard rescue helicopter assisted police in the operation.

The male casualty was stabilised on the beach and shortly before 4.30pm, was then transported to Withybush Hospital.

A police spokesman told The Herald: “We were called to a male who had got into difficulties in the water at Nolton Haven shortly before 3pm.

“He was taken to hospital by ambulance.”

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Cyclist killed on A40 was serving police officer, force confirms

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A CYCLIST who died after a crash with a van on the A40 in Carmarthenshire was a serving police officer with Dyfed-Powys Police, the force has confirmed in a statement to Herald.Wales.

The driver of the van involved in the crash, which happened on Thursday (Feb 25) has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, it was confirmed on Friday (Feb 26).

Police are investigating the fatal collision, which caused the road to be closed for 12 hours, and are asking for any witnesses to come forward by calling 101.

37-year-old Lynwen Thomas, who is a former student at Ysgol Bro Myrddin, Croes-y-Ceiliog, Carmarthen, was a sergeant and a very well-respected member of Dyfed-Powys Police.

A spokesperson for the police said in a statement: “Our thoughts are with her family, friends and colleagues, who have all been offered specialist support. We ask that family members are given the privacy they need at this difficult time.”

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