England’s former Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Sir Jonathan Van-Tam knows that Covid will always be with us despite the successful vaccination programme. Sir Jonathan, who officially opened St Barnabas Hospice’s new £1m wellbeing center in his hometown of Boston on June 8, told Lincolnshire Live that people continue to hospitalised and vulnerable people still need to be cautious.
He said: “Chris Whitty said once that all of us will meet this infection at some point. He is right. We are never going to eradicate Covid but where we are with our vaccination programs means we are in a much safer place then we were.” before.
“The impact of Covid put people in hospital and while fewer people are hospitalised now, it’s not zero. There continues to be vulnerable people that would have a worse experience of Covid even after vaccination that need to be careful and cautious about the sharing of respiratory conditions.
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“But we are in a much better place at the end of the first third of 2022. Restrictions are lifted and people want to make up for lost time.” Asked what freedoms he has enjoyed since restrictions were eased, football fan Sir Jonathan replied: “The big three things: Boston United, Boston United, Boston United.” He also confirmed he has already got his season ticket for 2022/23.
St Barnabas Hospice’s new facility at Endeavor Park is called Novak House. It is named after local philanthropist Stefan Novak who in 2019 left a £460,000 legacy to be spent on caring for those in the south of Lincolnshire. The center offers day therapies such as reiki, tai chi and massage to St Barnabas patients and their families in south Lincolnshire and serves as a base for the charity’s hospice at home care team.
It is also available for use by other organizations and services, including Macmillan Cancer Support, bereavement services and physiotherapy. Sir Jonathan, who was awarded a knighthood for his part in the UK’s Covid-19 pandemic response and the freedom of the borough of Boston, said the building looked impressive.
He said: “I know there’s not really been this kind of facility in Boston before. St Barnabas works across the whole of Lincolnshire and it is helpful that they have a footprint wherever they operate.”