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Les étudiants risquent de tricher aux examens car ils ne supportent pas d’être loin de leur smartphone, préviennent les experts

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Un nombre croissant d’élèves jouent désormais avec les notes car ils ne supportent pas de se séparer des smartphones lors des évaluations, ont averti les experts.

Le chien de garde des examens Ofqual a révélé que les candidats au test GCSE, A-Level et VTQ s’accrochent désormais aux téléphones comme une «couverture de confort», malgré les risques de disqualification.

Les pénalités pour les appareils intelligents ont explosé de plus de 50 % entre 2019 et 2022, avec plus de 250 étudiants privés de qualifications et d’agrégation l’année dernière.

Les étudiants n’ont souvent en fait aucune intention d’utiliser leur téléphone, des recherches montrant qu’ils peuvent simplement craindre de les perdre ou de les endommager.

Un agent d’examen a déclaré à Ofqual: «Il est vrai que je pense que la plupart des étudiants qui apportent leur téléphone dans la salle d’examen n’ont aucune intention de les utiliser pour tricher ou de les allumer. C’est presque comme une couverture de confort et ils se sentent anxieux lorsqu’ils sont séparés de leurs téléphones.

Un nombre croissant d'élèves jouent désormais avec les notes car ils ne supportent pas de se séparer des smartphones lors des évaluations, ont averti les experts (stock image)

Un nombre croissant d'élèves jouent désormais avec les notes car ils ne supportent pas de se séparer des smartphones lors des évaluations, ont averti les experts (stock image)

Un nombre croissant d’élèves jouent désormais avec les notes car ils ne supportent pas de se séparer des smartphones lors des évaluations, ont averti les experts (stock image)

Un autre a ajouté: “C’est une partie tellement normale de leur vie qu’ils se sentent privés et certains craignent qu’il ne soit volé s’il est laissé à l’extérieur, mais le message de notre part est clair.”

QU’EST-CE QUE LA MALTRAITANCE D’EXAMEN ?

La faute professionnelle implique une certaine forme d’acte répréhensible. Les exemples comprennent:

  • Partager les réponses
  • Imitation
  • Fuite de documents d’examen ou de matériel d’évaluation
  • Échange de scripts
  • Informations sur la contrebande
  • Apporter des téléphones portables et des appareils de communication dans les salles d’examen
  • Porter une montre

Source : Ofqual

Apporter des téléphones aux examens est considéré comme une faute professionnelle aux côtés d’autres formes d’actes répréhensibles tels que le partage de réponses, l’échange de scripts et l’usurpation d’identité.

Ofqual, basé à Coventry, a souligné que les étudiants croient généralement qu’ils ne seront pas pris avec un téléphone à moins qu’ils ne l’utilisent réellement.

Les sanctions vont de la perte de notes à la disqualification de tous les examens, le chien de garde déclarant que les conséquences ont été clarifiées.

Plus des deux tiers des sanctions prononcées l’année dernière ont vu des étudiants adolescents perdre des points dans les paramètres GCSE et A-Level.

Les sanctions ont totalisé 1 845 en 2022 contre 1 385 en 2019, qui était la dernière fois que les examens avaient lieu.

Pendant ce temps, environ les trois cinquièmes de toutes les sanctions infligées aux étudiants du VTQ ont entraîné une perte de notes.

Moins de 150 étudiants du VTQ ont perdu une qualification ou une agrégation à cause de cela.

“Mon expérience lors de la liaison avec les étudiants qui sont pris avec un téléphone est qu’ils n’avaient pas l’intention de tricher”, a ajouté un autre responsable de l’examen.

“C’est soit accidentel, soit ils ne pensent tout simplement pas que ce soit un problème car ils n’ont jamais eu l’intention de l’utiliser.” Ils le justifieront souvent en me disant qu’il n’était pas allumé.

Les recherches d’Ofqual font suite à de nombreuses études sur «l’anxiété de séparation des smartphones» et la nomophobie.

Cela inclut généralement une incapacité à éteindre votre smartphone, à le vérifier de manière obsessionnelle et à l’emmener aux toilettes.

Les scientifiques ont précédemment découvert que cette condition ne faisait qu’empirer à mesure que nos appareils devenaient plus personnalisés.

La recherche a souligné que les étudiants croient généralement qu'ils ne seront pas pris à moins qu'ils n'utilisent réellement leur téléphone (stock image)

La recherche a souligné que les étudiants croient généralement qu'ils ne seront pas pris à moins qu'ils n'utilisent réellement leur téléphone (stock image)

La recherche a souligné que les étudiants croient généralement qu’ils ne seront pas pris à moins qu’ils n’utilisent réellement leur téléphone (stock image)

“Alors que les smartphones évoquent plus de souvenirs personnels, les utilisateurs étendent davantage leur identité sur leurs smartphones”, ont écrit les chercheurs dans l’article de l’université Sungkyunkwan et de l’université de la ville de Hong Kong.

“Lorsque les utilisateurs perçoivent les smartphones comme leur moi étendu, ils sont plus susceptibles de s’attacher aux appareils, ce qui, à son tour, conduit à la nomophobie en augmentant la tendance à rechercher la proximité du téléphone.”

Dans un article de blog, Ofqual a déclaré que répondre aux préoccupations des étudiants est un bon moyen de lutter contre le problème au début de la saison des examens.

Il disait: «Les responsables des examens dans les écoles et les collèges et les organisations de récompense travaillent dur pour communiquer les réalités des violations des règles aux étudiants et identifier les moyens de répondre aux préoccupations que les étudiants pourraient avoir.

«Nous entendons dire que certaines des méthodes les plus efficaces pour éloigner les téléphones des examens et des évaluations sont souvent celles qui en reconnaissent la valeur, telles que les systèmes de sacs et de billets pour les protéger.

«Il est clair que ceux qui sont les mieux placés pour avoir un impact sur la fortune des étudiants dans ce domaine sont les étudiants eux-mêmes.

«Donc, si vous passez des examens ou des évaluations cette année, ne soyez pas tenté d’apporter votre téléphone portable, votre montre intelligente ou tout autre dans la salle d’examen ou le lieu d’évaluation. Si vous avez des inquiétudes concernant votre téléphone portable, veuillez en parler à votre responsable des examens et il se fera un plaisir de vous aider.’

QU’EST-CE QUE LA NOMOPHOBIE ?

Les symptômes de la nomophobie incluent l’incapacité d’éteindre votre téléphone, la vérification obsessionnelle de votre téléphone, le rechargement constant de la batterie et l’apport de votre téléphone aux toilettes.

Le problème n’est pas de ne pas pouvoir passer d’appels, mais du fait que les smartphones sont désormais l’endroit où nous stockons des souvenirs numériques, selon une nouvelle étude.

Les scientifiques ont découvert que les personnes souffrant de nomophobie élevée étaient plus susceptibles de souffrir de douleurs au poignet et au cou.

Ils étaient également plus susceptibles d’être distraits de leurs études et de leur travail, ce qui montre que non seulement l’utilisation problématique des smartphones a des effets négatifs sur les conditions physiques des utilisateurs, mais également sur la qualité globale de leur vie quotidienne.

Les chercheurs ont averti que cette tendance devrait se poursuivre à mesure que les téléphones deviennent de plus en plus personnalisés et remplissent de plus en plus de fonctions.

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International

Grieving families face hike in probate fees to £300 – despite three month waits for grants

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Probate delays: Average wait for a paper or digital application to be processed is 13.7 weeks, according to official figures

Probate delays: Average wait for a paper or digital application to be processed is 13.7 weeks, according to official figures

Probate delays: Average wait for a paper or digital application to be processed is 13.7 weeks, according to official figures

Probate fees are to to be hiked 10 per cent to £300, as families wait nearly more than three months on average for this vital step to be completed after a bereavement.

The average application time is little changed in recent months at 13.7 weeks.

That has shortened since the almost four months probate took last autumn, according to the latest official figures.

However, the number of cases taking six months or more soared 112 per cent between 2020 and 2023, according to figures obtained from the Government under a freedom of information request by financial firm Quilter.

And lawyers report application times are now ‘a bit of a lottery’ and they can’t give people a certain answer on how long the process will take.

Applying for probate is an important step to gain control over an estate after someone dies, allowing executors to access bank accounts, settle debts and sort out bequests.

But lawyers and other inheritance professionals have claimed bereaved families are suffering hardship and house sales are falling through due to probate delays.

A damning report handed to MPs, who are investigating long waits experienced by relatives sorting out estates, accused the Government’s probate service of being error-prone and lacking in experienced staff.

Meanwhile, the Government plans to increase fees from £273 to £300 from next month. The last increase was 27 per cent in January 2022.

Probate fees are waived for estates worth no more than £5,000, but otherwise a flat fee is applied.

That is after a controversial plan to introduce a sliding scale – which would have imposed rises of up to 9,200 per cent on the largest estates – was dropped after a backlash a few years ago.

> Are you executor to a will? Read our guide to applying for probate and scroll down for further expert tips

Source: Quilter, which analysed official figures obtained under a freedom of information request

Source: Quilter, which analysed official figures obtained under a freedom of information request

Source: Quilter, which analysed official figures obtained under a freedom of information request

‘It’s a bit of a lottery how long any particular application now takes before the probate is granted,’ says Jo Summer, a spokesperson for the STEP organisation for inheritance professionals, who gave evidence and suggestions for improvements to MPs at a recent hearing.

‘More complex applications, particularly those done on paper, definitely take longer than the simpler digital applications. However, you can also send two similar applications at the same time and one takes far longer than the other.

‘There is no certain answer we can give people when they ask us how long the process will take.

‘Some practitioners have received probates back within two to four weeks. There was even a remarkable case where probate came back after nine days. Others, meanwhile, are still awaiting a response from the Probate Registry 18 weeks after filing.

‘It’s worse in cases where the application is from a trust company or where the executors have appointed someone to act as their attorney in obtaining the probate.’

Summers says the best scenario now would be a guaranteed period for probate even if it was longer, as this would be much better than the complete uncertainty over timing at present.

Regarding the pending rise in the charge to £300, she adds: ‘With the huge backlog of unprocessed applications in the system, significant uncertainty and inconsistency around when probate is likely to be granted and bereaved families in financial and emotional limbo, it may not be the best time to be increasing fees.’

Shaun Moore, tax and financial planning expert at Quilter, says: ‘In the midst of grief, executors — often close kin or friends — face the added burden of navigating the probate maze. The increasing length of time it is taking the probate service to grant probate will just add to the stress of the process.

‘With probate wait times soaring, the emotional toll intensifies. Despite there being an increase in the number of people submitting their paperwork digitally it is clear that the probate service is struggling to keep up with the workload causing these longer wait times.

‘This can have huge ramifications for a family. It is natural that more complex estates will take longer for probate to be granted but the increases in wait times across the board is cause for concern.’

The Ministry of Justice was asked for comment but did not respond by the time of publication. 

> EIGHT ways probate delays can cause problems for grieving families – see below

How do you make probate applications go smoothly?

Shaun Moore of Quilter gives the following tips.

– Having your estate as organised as possible is the best course of action. This can include making a will, using trusts, and moving assets out of the estate so that they’re not part of the probate process.

– For example, you can place life insurance policies in trust. Upon death, the life insurance benefits are paid to the trustees and can be distributed, prior to probate, as per the terms of the trust.

Got a tax question? 

Heather Rogers, founder and owner of Aston Accountancy, is This is Money’s tax columnist.

She answers your questions on any tax topic – tax codes, inheritance tax, income tax, capital gains tax, and much more.

Check out her previous columns to see if she has already solved your tax conundrum. 

Or, you can write to Heather at taxquestions@thisismoney.co.uk.

 

– Lifetime gifts remove an asset from your estate for probate purposes but a gift made seven years prior to your passing may also help reduce any Inheritance tax liability.

– To apply for grant of probate you will need the deceased’s original will and death certificate, and to find out the total value of the deceased’s assets and liabilities.

What impact do probate delays have on families?

Quilter warns long waits for probate can have the following adverse effects.

Financial strain: When probate is delayed, the deceased’s assets, including bank accounts, remain frozen. This can prevent beneficiaries from accessing funds they may be relying on for living expenses, creating financial stress.

Property and asset management: Properties that remain in the deceased’s name cannot be sold or properly managed without probate. This can lead to issues such as homes falling into disrepair, depreciation of property value, or missed opportunities to sell assets at a favourable time.

Investment risks: Investments held by the deceased cannot be managed or reallocated without probate. This inaction can lead to missed investment opportunities or losses if the investments depreciate in value during the delay.

Tax liabilities: Estates are sometimes subject to various taxes, such as inheritance tax, income tax, or capital gains tax, depending on the jurisdiction. Delays in probate can lead to late payment penalties or interest charges. Furthermore, executors might miss deadlines for tax advantages due to delays.

Distribution delays: Beneficiaries waiting to receive their inheritance may face financial or personal difficulties. Delays can strain family relationships, especially if beneficiaries feel the process is not being managed efficiently.

Legal challenges: Prolonged delays in probate might lead to increased chances of disputes or challenges against the will. This could further delay the distribution of the estate and incur additional legal costs.

Utility bills and debts: Ongoing expenses such as utilities, insurance, and mortgages need to be paid. Delays can complicate the management of these bills, potentially leading to lapses in insurance coverage.

Emotional stress: The period following a death is already a difficult time for friends and family. Delays in the probate process can add to the emotional strain, prolonging the period of uncertainty and making it harder for everyone to find closure.

Some links in this article may be affiliate links. If you click on them we may earn a small commission. That helps us fund This Is Money, and keep it free to use. We do not write articles to promote products. We do not allow any commercial relationship to affect our editorial independence.

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The best places to stay… in the WORLD: Four UK B&Bs make the global top 10 in 2024 Tripadvisor awards, the No.1 hotel overall is in Brazil and Santa Monica property is declared top in America

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Tripadvisor has named the best places to stay in the world for 2024 – and the UK has emerged as top for B&Bs, with four properties making the global top 10 list in the Travellers’ Choice Best of the Best Hotels Awards.

The No.1 spot goes to Voile Bleue in Mauritius, but The Toulson Court in Scarborough – last year’s winner – takes the silver medal, Highcliffe House in Exmoor National Park comes sixth, Gloucester House in Weymouth is seventh and The Berburry Hotel in Torquay ranks 10th.

The No.1 hotel in the world for 2024 is Brazil’s Hotel Colline de France, a boutique hotel in the middle of the mountain town of Gramado renowned, says Tripadvisor, for its personalised service and French elegance.

The travel site notes that for three consecutive years, the 34-suite hotel has been ranked in the top five, boasting more than 4,000 five-star bubble reviews.

The No.1 hotel in the U.S for 2024 has been named as Shore Hotel in Santa Monica, California, while the top property in Australia for this year is The Reef House Adults Retreat Palm Cove in North Queensland.

The No.1 hotel in the world for 2024 is Brazil's Hotel Colline de France (above)

The No.1 hotel in the world for 2024 is Brazil's Hotel Colline de France (above)

The No.1 hotel in the world for 2024 is Brazil’s Hotel Colline de France (above)

The Toulson Court in Scarborough takes the silver medal in the global B&B ranking. It was the winner in 2023

The Toulson Court in Scarborough takes the silver medal in the global B&B ranking. It was the winner in 2023

The Toulson Court in Scarborough takes the silver medal in the global B&B ranking. It was the winner in 2023

The No.1 hotel in the U.S for 2024 has been named as Shore Hotel in Santa Monica

The No.1 hotel in the U.S for 2024 has been named as Shore Hotel in Santa Monica

The No.1 hotel in the U.S for 2024 has been named as Shore Hotel in Santa Monica

TOP HOTELS IN THE WORLD, UK, USA AND AUSTRALIA 

Top hotels – world

1. Hotel Colline de France, Brazil

2. OBLU SELECT Lobigili, Maldives

3. La Siesta Hoi An Resort & Spa, Vietnam

4. Adiwana Suweta, Indonesia

5. Iberostar Grand Packard, Cuba

6. Emerald Maldives Resort & Spa, Maldives

7. La Siesta Classic Ma May, Vietnam

8. Secrets Akumal Riviera Maya, Mexico

9. Padma Resort Ubud, Indonesia

10. Sofitel Mexico City Reforma, Mexico

Top hotels – UK & Channel Islands

1. The Resident Covent Garden, London

2. Aviator Hampshire, Hampshire

3. The Chesterfield Mayfair, London

4. Hotel 41, London

5. Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, A Belmond Hotel, Oxfordshire, Oxfordshire

6. Greenhills Country House Hotel, Jersey, Channel Islands

7. St. Ermin’s Hotel, Autograph Collection, London

8. Brown’s Hotel, London

9. The Milestone Hotel and Residences, London

10. The Cadogan, A Belmond Hotel, London

Top hotels USA

1. Shore Hotel, Santa Monica, California

2. Luma Hotel Times Square, New York

3. FivePine Lodge & Spa, Oregon

4. The Bryant Park Hotel, New York

5. Hotel Emma, San Antonia, Texas

6. The Loutrel, South Carolina

7. Lotte Hotel Seattle, Washington

8. Four Seasons Hotel Chicago, Illinois

9. Ironworks Hotel Indy, Indiana

10. San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter on the River Walk, Texas

Top hotels – Australia

1. The Reef House Adults Only Bespoke Escapes

2. Emporium Hotel South Bank

3. MACq 01 Hotel

4. Next Hotel Melbourne

5. Quest Orange

6. Zagame’s House

7. Pinetrees Lodge

8. Element on Coolum Beach

9. Terminus Apartment Hotel

10. The Tasman, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Hobart

Source: Tripadvisor 

 

 

 

The rest of the overall top hotels ranking comprises La Siesta Hoi An Resort & Spa, Vietnam (third); Adiwana Suweta, Indonesia (fourth); Iberostar Grand Packard, Cuba (fifth); Emerald Maldives Resort & Spa, Maldives (sixth); La Siesta Classic Ma May, Vietnam (seventh); Secrets Akumal Riviera Maya, Mexico (eighth); Padma Resort Ubud, Indonesia (ninth); and Sofitel Mexico City Reforma, Mexico (10th).

The No.1 luxury hotel globally has been named as Oblu Select Lobigili in Male, Maldives; the gold-medal-winning luxury hotel in the UK is Fingal in Edinburgh; and the USA’s top luxury property is Hotel Emma in San Antonio, Texas.

UK world winners

The Resident Covent Garden - the No.1 hotel in the UK, according to Tripadvisor

The Resident Covent Garden - the No.1 hotel in the UK, according to Tripadvisor

The Resident Covent Garden – the No.1 hotel in the UK, according to Tripadvisor

The No.1 luxury hotel globally has been named as Oblu Select Lobigili in Male (above)

The No.1 luxury hotel globally has been named as Oblu Select Lobigili in Male (above)

The No.1 luxury hotel globally has been named as Oblu Select Lobigili in Male (above)

The gold-medal-winning luxury hotel in the UK is Fingal in Edinburgh (above)

The gold-medal-winning luxury hotel in the UK is Fingal in Edinburgh (above)

The gold-medal-winning luxury hotel in the UK is Fingal in Edinburgh (above)

This year, Tripadvisor has launched a world list for 'best sustainable hotels'. Coming top is luxury jungle resort Buahan a Banyan Tree Escape, Bali (above)

This year, Tripadvisor has launched a world list for 'best sustainable hotels'. Coming top is luxury jungle resort Buahan a Banyan Tree Escape, Bali (above)

This year, Tripadvisor has launched a world list for ‘best sustainable hotels’. Coming top is luxury jungle resort Buahan a Banyan Tree Escape, Bali (above)

Tripadvisor also notes Fingal’s success in the ‘small and boutique hotels‘ categories, with the property coming 11th in the world list and second in the European list.

‘Tranquil’ Welsh boutique hotel, Grove of Narberth, nestled in the rolling Pembrokeshire hills, is named 13th in the ‘world’s best small and boutique’ list.

For travellers looking to relax and unwind, the Emerald Maldives Resort & Spa tops the inaugural list of the ‘best wellness hotels‘ in the world.

Tripadvisor says: ‘This all-inclusive sanctuary, deemed an “oasis of bliss” by one Tripadvisor reviewer, offers a full spa, gym and sports centre, diving centre, water centre, and more.’

New for 2024 categories

THE BEST B&BS AND LUXURY HOTELS IN THE WORLD 

B&Bs and inns – world

1. Voile Bleue, Mauritius

2. The Toulson Court, Scarborough, UK

3. Dar Ahlam Hotel, Morocco

4. Abode Bombay, India

5. Pousada Gaia Viva, Brazil

6. Highcliffe House, Exmoor National Park, UK

7. Candleberry Inn on Cape Cod, U.S

8. Gloucester House, Weymouth, UK

9. Yarra Gables, Australia

10. The Berburry Hotel, Torquay, UK

Luxury hotels – world

1. OBLU SELECT Lobigili, Male

2. Iberostar Grand Packard, Cuba

3. Emerald Maldives Resort & Spa, Maldives

4. Padma Resort Ubud, Indonesia

5. Sofitel Mexico City Reforma, Indonesia

6. Chandys Windy Woods, India

7. Secrets Akumal Riviera Maya, Mexico

8. Atrium Palace Thalasso Spa Resort & Villas, Greece

9. Voyage Belek Golf And Spa, Turkiye

10. JW Marriott Hotel Pune, India

Source: Tripadvisor 

This year, Tripadvisor has launched a world list for ‘best sustainable hotels‘.

Coming top is luxury jungle resort Buahan a Banyan Tree Escape, Bali, ‘with its “no walls, no doors” design, breathtaking views, sustainably grown food and exceptional service’.

The Hari, London, is named No. 7 on the world list. The luxury Belgravia hotel is ‘silver certified’ by EarthCheck, with several Tripadvisor reviewers commending the hotel for its ‘eco-conscious’ efforts.

Dan Mitchell, Vice President & General Manager Hotels, Tripadvisor, said: ‘Our Best of the Best Hotels are marvels, acclaimed by thousands of travellers for their remarkable service, stunning design, and wealth of amenities that redefine what it means to have an exceptional hotel experience. According to our Tripadvisor reviewers, each of the world’s best hotels caters to the traveller looking for accessible luxury and unique, tailored experiences.’

The rankings are drawn up from an analysis of 12 months of review data for over 1.6million hotels.

There are nine categories in total – top hotels, all-inclusive, B&Bs and inns, family-friendly, luxury, small and boutique, pet-friendly, sustainable and wellness, with the latter three new for 2024.

Emerald Maldives Resort & Spa - the world's No.1 all-inclusive

Emerald Maldives Resort & Spa - the world's No.1 all-inclusive

Emerald Maldives Resort & Spa – the world’s No.1 all-inclusive

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At least five migrants die attempting to cross Channel for UK

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At least five migrants, including a child, died overnight during an attempt to cross the Channel from France to Britain, a French police source said on Tuesday.

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Meet the doctor who spends ‘half an hour a day’ writing sicknotes for workshy Brits: GP reveals he’s noticed ‘significant rise’ in number of people being signed off work

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A doctor is spending 30 minutes every day signing people off sick with a mental health illness, but the GP says being back at work could actually be better for them. 

Dr John Havard revealed there had been a ‘significant rise’ in the number of people being signed off work, which has been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. 

But he says it may not be a ‘wise plan’ for those feeling anxious or depressed to be staying at home as they ‘need the support of home, family, friends, and also those at work’. 

It comes as the number of people of working age in Britain that are economically inactive hit 9.4million, meaning they are neither employed nor looking for work.

Meanwhile, at the end of last year, 4,000 applications for sickness benefits were being made every single day.

Dr John Havard, whose Saxmundham Health Centre surgery is based in Suffolk, says he spends 30 minutes every day writing sick notes for people

Dr John Havard, whose Saxmundham Health Centre surgery is based in Suffolk, says he spends 30 minutes every day writing sick notes for people

Dr John Havard, whose Saxmundham Health Centre surgery is based in Suffolk, says he spends 30 minutes every day writing sick notes for people

The graph above shows the areas which have had the largest increase in long-term sickness claims in 2022-23

The graph above shows the areas which have had the largest increase in long-term sickness claims in 2022-23

The graph above shows the areas which have had the largest increase in long-term sickness claims in 2022-23

Dr Havard, whose Saxmundham Health Centre surgery is based in Suffolk, estimated GPs across the country probably spend at least ‘half an hour each day’ issuing ‘repeat fit notes’ to those who have been off work for a while.

He said: ‘There certainly has been a significant rise in the number of patients being off work due to mental health problems.

‘This seems to have been exacerbated since Covid.’

His surgery often contacts patients to find out how they are recovering in an effort to get them back to work. 

This is because the doctors believe being it can be better for their recovery.

Dr Havard added: ‘When patients are anxious or depressed, there are a number of ways we can help. But being off work is not necessarily a wise plan.

‘Interaction and support from colleagues can be helpful, which means that signing some people off work may not be in their best interests.’ 

He was speaking after Rishi Sunak announced plans to strip GPs of their power to sign people off work, as part of a crackdown on what he calls the UK’s ‘sick note culture’.

The Prime Minister claims benefits have become ‘a lifestyle choice’ for some people, causing ‘spirally’ welfare costs.

He announced on Friday that the government will trial getting ‘work and health professionals’ to issue ‘fit notes’ rather than GPs.

Mr Sunak hopes that this will free up overworked GPs and enable specialists to make a more detailed assessment of a person’s ability to work.

He is implementing the plans amid concerns about the increase in long-term sickness since the pandemic, which has primarily been driven by mental health problems.

The Tory leader added that he would ‘never dismiss or downplay the illnesses people have’ but also argued that there is a need to be ‘more honest about the risk of over-medicalising the everyday challenges and worries of life’.

Disability campaigners have reacted with anger to the plans, with charity Scope branding them a ‘full-on assault on disabled people’.

Dr Havard said: ‘If the Government has a plan for the issue of repeat certificates, then I would welcome the idea.

‘Currently though, I have no knowledge of how it would work.’

He added: ‘As a general rule, I feel patients with anxiety and depression need the support of home, family, friends, and also those at work.

‘We should never underestimate the strength of the wider community to provide support.’

The overall welfare bill for the British taxpayer currently stands at £297 billion and it is projected to climb to £360 billion over the next five years — the equivalent of 11 per cent of Britain’s entire economic output. 

Over the same period, spending on sickness benefits is expected to rise from £66billion to more than £90billion.

Nearly 3million people of working age are currently on long-term sick leave – the highest figure ever, it was revealed on April 17.

One recent survey by this paper showed that in the 16 to 24 age group, 280,000 people are in receipt of unemployment benefits — twice as many as a decade ago, and 50,000 more than before Covid struck.

And it appears that the younger generation are more likely to be afflicted by negativity about their mental health.

Research by the Resolution Foundation revealed that the number of 18 to 24-year-olds who are economically inactive due to mental health has more than doubled in the past decade from 93,000 to 190,000. 

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Germany arrests aide to far-right MEP on suspicion of China espionage

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German police have arrested an assistant to a European Parliament member for the far-right Alternative for Germany on suspicion of “an especially severe case” of espionage for China, the federal prosecutor’s office said on Tuesday.

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Piers Morgan brands Man United a ‘Mickey Mouse club’ as Red Devils ‘hold talks with Disney over multi-million-dollar documentaries deal’ that will focus on their glory days under Sir Alex Ferguson

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Piers Morgan has hit out at Manchester United following reports that the club are engaged in talks with Disney over a multi-million-dollar documentaries deal that will focus on their historical success under Sir Alex Ferguson.

According to The Athletic, United are looking to strike a deal with the US streaming giants, but the proposed documentaries would not include coverage of their current plight.

Instead, it would look back on Ferguson’s 26-year stay at Old Trafford that saw the club win 13 league titles, five FA Cups and the Champions League on two occasions.

And Morgan is clearly not impressed as he reacted to the news by posting on X on Tuesday morning: ‘Mickey Mouse club – official’.

His dig at the Red Devils appears to be due to their reluctance to commission a documentary that focuses on their struggles since Ferguson retired in 2013.

Piers Morgan has branded Man United a 'Mickey Mouse club' following reports that they are in talks with Disney over a documentaries deal to look back on their glory days

Piers Morgan has branded Man United a 'Mickey Mouse club' following reports that they are in talks with Disney over a documentaries deal to look back on their glory days

Piers Morgan has branded Man United a ‘Mickey Mouse club’ following reports that they are in talks with Disney over a documentaries deal to look back on their glory days

United are in talks with Disney over a documentaries deal that would focus on their success under Sir Alex Ferguson rather than their current plight

United are in talks with Disney over a documentaries deal that would focus on their success under Sir Alex Ferguson rather than their current plight

United are in talks with Disney over a documentaries deal that would focus on their success under Sir Alex Ferguson rather than their current plight

United won 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups and two Champions League trophies with Ferguson at the helm

United won 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups and two Champions League trophies with Ferguson at the helm

United won 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups and two Champions League trophies with Ferguson at the helm

United have failed to win a league title in the past 11 years, and have endured a miserable campaign with Erik ten Hag at the helm this year.

They currently sit seventh in the Premier League and were knocked out of Europe before Christmas, although they have booked their place in a second successive FA Cup final after edging past Coventry on penalties in Sunday’s epic semi-final at Wembley. 

It is understood that talks have been ongoing for two years between United and the US streaming giants, and a deal is yet to be agreed to due to the Red Devils holding out for improved terms. 

United were offered better terms when discussions first began, and are looking to maximise the revenue from a potential deal as they aim to adhere to the Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules (PSR).

Erik ten Hag was unable to make any signings in January due to United’s tight budget, and the club are now looking to diversify their revenue streams under new part-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

The proposed documentaries would include considerable interview time with Ferguson, who still regularly attends United matches despite leaving the dugout 11 years ago.

Club ambassadors such as Bryan Robson and Peter Schmeichel are also expected to give their insight if the documentaries deal is given the green light.

The Disney documentaries could follow on the back of a one-off Amazon documentary on United’s Treble-winning season in 1998-99 that is set to air later this year for the 25th anniversary of the achievement.

A trailer was released earlier this month to give a sneak peek of what to expect, with David Beckham admitting that he worried he would never be able to play in England again after getting sent off at the 1998 World Cup for kicking Argentina’s Diego Simeone, while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confessed he felt sick before his Champions League heroics at the Nou Camp.

New part-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe is keen for Man United to diversify their revenue streams

New part-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe is keen for Man United to diversify their revenue streams

New part-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe is keen for Man United to diversify their revenue streams

Disney's Welcome to Wrexham series has been a major hit with fans in recent seasons

Disney's Welcome to Wrexham series has been a major hit with fans in recent seasons

Disney’s Welcome to Wrexham series has been a major hit with fans in recent seasons

Disney’s Welcome to Wrexham series, which follows the success of the Welsh club owned by Hollywood actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, has been a massive hit with fans.

Striking a deal would also likely be a major coup for the streaming giants.

Prior to their documentary deal with Amazon, United had steered clear of being followed by behind-the-scenes cameras.

But they could now emulate other major clubs including Manchester City, Arsenal, Tottenham and Juventus who have all had documentaries commissioned by Amazon in recent seasons. 

However, United’s documentaries would be different as they would look back on their glory days rather than giving an up-to-date account of how the club is being run behind the scenes.

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Asia hit hardest by climate and weather disasters last year, says UN

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Asia was the world’s most disaster-hit region from climate and weather hazards in 2023, the United Nations said Tuesday, with floods and storms the chief cause of casualties and economic losses.

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International

Under-fire Met boss Sir Mark Rowley defends ‘professional’ officer who threatened to arrest ‘openly Jewish’ campaigner at pro-Palestine protest – as police chief fights to keep job

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The Metropolitan Police Commissioner has defended the ‘professional’ conduct of the officer who threatened to arrest an ‘openly Jewish’ campaigner at a pro-Palestine march. 

Sir Mark Rowley has said the officers who dealt with Gideon Falter, chief executive of the Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA), in viral footage of the the April 13 march will not face sanctions. 

However, the Met boss has admitted some of the words exchanged during the incident were ‘clumsy and offensive’ – as 1,500 protesters and Mr Falter are set to descend on a pro-Palestinian march this weekend to press Scotland Yard to keep the streets safe for Jewish people.

It comes as Sir Mark is facing a battle to keep his job as British Jewish groups are calling for his resignation following the ‘openly Jewish’ incident and other criticisms of how pro-Palestine marches are policed. 

Yesterday, Britain’s top police officer had crisis meetings with two politicians that can sack him – Home Secretary James Cleverly and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan. 

He said last night that sergeant at the centre of the row assessed that there was a ‘risk of confrontation’ due to Mr Falter’s presence. 

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley is facing battle to keep his job

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley is facing battle to keep his job

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley is facing battle to keep his job

The officer at the centre of the row threatened to arrest Gideon Falter if he tried to cross the protest while being 'openly Jewish'

The officer at the centre of the row threatened to arrest Gideon Falter if he tried to cross the protest while being 'openly Jewish'

The officer at the centre of the row threatened to arrest Gideon Falter if he tried to cross the protest while being ‘openly Jewish’

Gideon Falter (pictured) is encouraging people to follow the route of a pro-Palestinian march in London to 'force the police to make sure that these things are safe for Jewish people'

Gideon Falter (pictured) is encouraging people to follow the route of a pro-Palestinian march in London to 'force the police to make sure that these things are safe for Jewish people'

Gideon Falter (pictured) is encouraging people to follow the route of a pro-Palestinian march in London to ‘force the police to make sure that these things are safe for Jewish people’

He told the Guardian ‘The sergeant at the scene clearly assessed that there was a risk of confrontation and was trying to help Mr Falter find a different route. 

‘I completely understand why the sergeant made this assessment. A couple of turns of phrase were clumsy and offensive … and we’ve apologised for that.

‘The wider actions and intent of the officer were professional and in the best tradition of British police trying to prevent disorder.’

Sir Rowley added: ‘The public would be horrified if we said: well, it’s obvious if those two groups come together, there’s going to be a massive fight. We’ll stand back and wait till it happens and we’ll pick up the pieces afterwards.’ 

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said on Monday that the force needed to rebuild the trust of the Jewish community but added the embattled police chief had his confidence.

Sir Mark held meetings on Monday with Mr Cleverly and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, who said he has ‘full confidence’ in the commissioner.

Representatives of Jewish community groups including the Community Security Trust and London Jewish Forum also met Sir Mark and Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist, who leads public order policing, on Monday morning.

The CST said it would continue to push for a reduction in the number of pro-Palestinian protests permitted in central London.

It released a statement after the meeting that said: ‘We will continue our dialogue with police later this week to express our concerns regarding the cumulative impact of the repeated anti-Israel protests in terms of disruption and intimidation of the Jewish community.

Sir Mark has crisi meetings with Home Secretary James Cleverly (pictured) and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan yesterday

Sir Mark has crisi meetings with Home Secretary James Cleverly (pictured) and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan yesterday

Sir Mark has crisi meetings with Home Secretary James Cleverly (pictured) and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan yesterday

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said Sir Mark Rowley has his 'full confidence' following the 'openly Jewish' incident

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said Sir Mark Rowley has his 'full confidence' following the 'openly Jewish' incident

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said Sir Mark Rowley has his ‘full confidence’ following the ‘openly Jewish’ incident

‘We urge the police and Government to work together to find ways to limit this impact through reducing the number of protests, moving them to less disruptive locations and acting firmly and consistently whenever offences are committed by people on the demonstrations.’

After the meeting with Sir Mark, Mr Cleverly said: ‘Jewish people will always have the right to be able to go about their daily lives safely and freely, in London and across the UK.

‘Sir Mark has reassured me he will make this clear to all sections of the community as a matter of urgency. 

‘The Met’s focus now is rightly on reassurance, learning from what happened, and ensuring that Jewish people are safe and feel safe in London. I support them in that critical endeavour.

‘Public order policing is complex and challenging, but it remains incumbent on Sir Mark and the mayor of London to ensure that London is always a safe and welcoming city.

‘The force’s focus should be on policing protests properly and fairly, and we will continue to back forces in using all necessary powers to manage these often difficult situations and to keep people safe.’

The force has apologised twice over the incident on April 13, issuing one initial statement and then saying sorry for its first apology which had suggested opponents of pro-Palestinian marches ‘must know that their presence is provocative’.

A 13-minute of the exchange shows Mr Falter telling police he wants to cross a road to reach Kingsway in central London as crowds of pro-Palestinian protesters pass.

Rishi Sunak piled pressure on Met commissioner Sir Mark Rowley, saying the force must rebuild the trust of the Jewish community

Rishi Sunak piled pressure on Met commissioner Sir Mark Rowley, saying the force must rebuild the trust of the Jewish community

Rishi Sunak piled pressure on Met commissioner Sir Mark Rowley, saying the force must rebuild the trust of the Jewish community

The Met faces potential clashes after an anti-Semitism campaigner (pictured) threatened with arrest for being 'openly Jewish' launched the 'walk together' campaign

The Met faces potential clashes after an anti-Semitism campaigner (pictured) threatened with arrest for being 'openly Jewish' launched the 'walk together' campaign

The Met faces potential clashes after an anti-Semitism campaigner (pictured) threatened with arrest for being ‘openly Jewish’ launched the ‘walk together’ campaign

Sir Mark has come under sustained criticism from senior figures, including former home secretary Suella Braverman

Sir Mark has come under sustained criticism from senior figures, including former home secretary Suella Braverman

Sir Mark has come under sustained criticism from senior figures, including former home secretary Suella Braverman

He tells one officer: ‘The Metropolitan Police says that these marches are completely safe for Jews, there is no problem whatsoever.

‘You are telling me that I cannot walk to the other pavement. That I have to be escorted by you.’

The officer says: ‘I am telling you that I will help you by escorting you over there and that way you will be completely safe, just as we promised, so we are keeping our word.’

Mr Falter has since said he will turn up at the next pro-Palestinian march and encouraged other Jews and allies to join him as more than 1,500 protesters are set to join him to press Scotland Yard to keep the streets safe for Jewish people.

The Met faces potential clashes at the march as the anti-Semitism campaigner threatened with arrest for being ‘openly Jewish’ launched the ‘walk together’ campaign.

Gideon Falter is encouraging people to follow the route of a pro-Palestinian march in London to ‘force the police to make sure that these things are safe for Jewish people’.

Since the incident on April 13, almost 9,000 people have signed a petition calling for the resignation of Britain’s top police officer.

Sir Mark has come under sustained criticism from senior figures, including former home secretary Suella Braverman who told Radio 4 yesterday: ‘The police have chosen a side.’

Deputy Foreign Secretary Andrew Mitchell told Sky News: ‘There are strategic issues… how we ensure that Jewish people, people of any faith at all, can go about their business.’

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said the incident ‘clearly wasn’t handled properly … but the police work immensely hard every single day to keep us safe’.

Officer is defended by Met chief

Sir Mark Rowley last night praised the ‘professional’ conduct of the policeman at the centre of the row.

He said the unnamed officer had acted ‘in the best tradition of British police trying to prevent disorder’ when he stopped Gideon Falter from crossing into a protest.

Sir Mark said ‘a couple of turns of phrase were clumsy and offensive’ but the police had apologised for this. He told The Guardian that in other different incidents, he believed ‘officers are being set up with an intention to intimidate officers and create a sort of fakery to try and prove police are not operating neutrally’. He gave the example of an Asian officer who had a pro-Palestinian sticker put on his arm for a short time, which was photographed and shared online, leading to death threats.

Sir Tom Winsor, former chief inspector of constabulary, has backed the treatment of Mr Falter, saying police were trying to keep him safe.

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New bill in California could axe little-known rule that allows state to keep newborn blood indefinitely

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A little-known California law that allows the state to store baby blood indefinitely and sell to third parties could come to an end.

A new bill, recently passed in the state Senate, would give parents the choice to opt out of the retention and confidential use of their newborn’s screening specimen, which is taken by a heel prick at birth to screen hereditary diseases.

The bill was moved to Suspense File on Monday, where it will be held for consideration until the budget is passed. A date has not been provided. 

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has been storing the samples in biobanks since the 1980s, accumulating more than 20 million blood cards, and is not required to inform parents about who is accessing their child’s DNA. 

California ’s ‘controversial’ handling of newborn blood that lets the state store samples indefinitely and sell to third parties could soon come to an end

California ’s ‘controversial’ handling of newborn blood that lets the state store samples indefinitely and sell to third parties could soon come to an end

California ’s ‘controversial’ handling of newborn blood that lets the state store samples indefinitely and sell to third parties could soon come to an end

However, CDPH has pushed back on the new bill claiming it would cost up to $4 million to implement and another $1 million a year moving forward. 

The costs would be needed to rework the current process, which would include paperwork for parents to opt out and information brochures detailing how blood samples are stored and used. 

But CBS News reported that a similar bill passed in 2015 cost around $120,000 to implement – far less than what CDPH has claimed.

DailyMail.com has contacted CDPH for comment. 

The bill, passed by the Senate in January, could die in appropriations due to the costs cited by CDPH.

If it is passed, the bill will move to the Assembly that then needs to determine if it should or should not go to Governor Gavin Newson. 

Senator Janet Nguyen, who authored the bill, said: ‘By giving parents the right to prohibit the use and retention of their baby’s blood sample for research purposes and indefinite storage by the state, we bolster the ability for parents to protect their child’s privacy.’

Genetic newborn testing started in the 1960s with the hopes of detecting diseases and conditions that could kill a child or cause severe problems.

Nurses fill six spots on a special filter card when administering the screening that is then sent to a lab for testing, but leftover samples are stored for the specific allowed time.

According to the state of Minnesota’s website, samples are kept so that tests can be repeated, used to identify a missing or deceased child and for medical research.

While data is sparse regarding how many samples have been stored, a report states that in 2009, 13.5 billion newborn blood spots were warehoused nationwide.

And reports show that most states have stored DNA since at least 2001.

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) began storing samples indefinitely in state-run biobanks in 1983.

The state had only filled five spots on the card but increased to six in the 2010s, which reports have claimed are sold for $20 to $40 per spot.

In December 2020, it was revealed that investigators in California had sought access to newborn screening samples for criminal investigative purposes and made at least one arrest using the genetic material.

While the state automatically sends the blood to a facility, parents are given a pamphlet telling them where they can request the samples be destroyed.

A CBS News-Survey USA news poll found three-quarters of new parents had no idea California was storing their baby’s leftover bloodspots indefinitely or that they had the right to have their child’s sample destroyed.

Another issue with blood storage is that it holds the individual’s sensitive information.

‘Allowing the government to access samples with such sensitive information for reasons other than public health would seriously threaten our privacy — particularly given that our DNA reveals such information not only about us, but also our family members,’ the American Civil Liberties Union shared in a statement. 

CDPH may be pushing back on the mandate, citing that it ‘would cost between $3.8 million to $4 million (including one-time costs) in the first year and $1.6 million in ongoing costs thereafter to administer the provisions of the bill (Genetic Disease Testing Fund).’

However, the appropriations analysis states that the costs would be covered by the Genetic Disease Testing Fund (GDTF), not the general fund.

The storage and use of newborn blood took center stage last year after parents in New Jersey sued the state after finding police collected a baby’s DNA without a warrant to investigate the child’s father.

Hannah Lovaglio, a resident of Cranbury and plaintiff, told DailyMail.com in November: ‘This is a true parent right’s issue. This is their body; this is their property taken from them from five years of being a minor, and the state is not required to give any justification. 

‘It is deeply concerning [that they are] preying on the helplessness of a new parent,’ said Lovaglio.

‘In your most vulnerable moment, someone is taking something from your child, and you have no idea.’

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia proposed a databank of the DNA-filled newborn blood spots in 2002 and using them—seemingly without parent consent—for additional purposes beyond the infant genetic screening program, according to the Citizens’ Council on Health Care.

Some states, such as South Carolina and South Dakota, destroy the blood spots after a year or as soon as testing has been completed.

Other states that store newborn DNA for years have regulations to limit what can be done with the samples, and some, like Alabama and Arizona, let parents refuse blood retention.

Approximately 29 US states provide parents with forms to refuse to screen, including Alabama, New York and Nevada.

Texas, Minnesota, and Michigan have also faced lawsuits over their blood storage practices, primarily because parents did not provide consent. 

The 2009 lawsuit in Texas, which was holding DNA indefinitely, resulted in the state’s 5.3 million blood samples, and now, all blood samples obtained after 2012 must be destroyed after two years.

A 2014 settlement in the Minnesota lawsuit resulted in 1.1 million blood samples being destroyed – the state began storing DNA in 2014.

In 2022, Michigan, which began retention in 2012, was also sued to destroy three million blood spots, but that lawsuit is ongoing.

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🔴 Live: US Senate to vote on wartime aid package for Israel, Gaza

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The Senate is returning to Washington on Tuesday to vote on $95 billion in war aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, taking the final steps in Congress to send the legislation to President Joe Biden’s desk after months of delays and contentious internal debate over how involved the United States should be abroad. Read our liveblog to follow today’s developments in the Middle East.

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