Nottingham MP claims to have been “sacked” after discussing PPE shortages publicly

Published by Rhys Taylor-Brown on May 8th 2020, 11:00am

Nadia Whittome, the Labour MP for Nottingham East, has claimed that she was “effectively sacked” after speaking out over a shortage of PPE on national television while working part-time at a care home.

Whittome, who used to work at the Lark Hill retirement village prior to becoming an MP, had returned to her former role on a part-time basis to help on the frontline of the fight against Covid-19.

Speaking on BBC Newsnight in April, the MP said that while carrying out her duties at the retirement village, she had seen protective masks limited to one a day per person, while members of the public were also donating visors to the home.

Whittome told the BBC that after speaking out over the PPE shortage, she had been accused of “spreading misinformation” and was asked not to return to Lark Hill to work.

She said that Lark Hill had emailed her over speaking out and her hours were subsequently reduced to zero.

Whittome added: "It is my duty to be honest about the lack of PPE and testing.

"I can survive being effectively sacked for speaking out, because I have another income. But for so many people in social care - who work a skilled, exhausting and now dangerous job for poverty pay - speaking out is not an option."

Whittome’s employer, ExtraCare, said that there were no issues with PPE supply at the Lark Hill site and that her assistance as a care worker was no longer required due to an adequate amount of in-house cover becoming available.

An ExtraCare spokeswoman said that the PPE supply at the home was enough to last three months and any speculation of the contrary was “inaccurate”.

She added that no deaths had occurred at the home thanks to a “full supply of PPE” and effective infection control.

The spokeswoman said: "Nadia joined us as a casual worker to help our care team and we welcomed her contribution, providing support on eight care shifts during March and April.

"Our in-house care team are now fulfilling our needs at this time and Nadia's help is no longer needed."

Following the statement, Whittome told Good Morning Britain that she was “delighted” that sufficient levels of PPE were now available at the home, but insisted that when she first spoke out it “wasn’t the case.”

Whittome added: "I've always told the truth and that's corroborated by the fact that ExtraCare had themselves put out a plea for PPE donations."

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Authored By

Rhys Taylor-Brown
Junior Editor
May 8th 2020, 11:00am

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