The care home which sacked a staff member during the pandemic after she raised concerns over a lack of PPE has admitted that it did in fact have “supply chain issues” at the time.
Nadia Whittome, who is also the Labour MP for Nottingham East, began working at Lark Hill retirement village in April, at the height of the pandemic, but was asked to leave her job after speaking out about PPE shortages in May.
The MP, who donated her salary from the care home shifts to charity, returned to her old job as a carer to help care for the elderly residents there as the pandemic was at its peak.
What did Whittome say?
Speaking to BBC Newsnight in April, Ms Whittome said that she and her colleagues didn’t “feel as though our government is keeping us safe because there isn’t enough PPE” and described using “visors that people have made at home.”
In May, the Mirror reported that it had been shown an email in which Ms Whittome was told she would no longer be asked to do shifts at Lark Hill, because she had spoken to the media about PPE shortage concerns and the general safety of staff and residents.
Following this, Ms Whittome appealed to all care workers across the country to write to her if they faced intimidation, disciplinary action or silencing as a result of speaking up during the Covid-19 crisis.
Why was she sacked?
Extra Care Charitable Trust, the company which runs the care home, said at the time that claims of a PPE shortage at Lark Hill were “inaccurate”, but the Mirror claims that it has since seen an email in which Extra Care’s chief executive says the company “really appreciated” the MP raising concerns, “which helped highly the issue of PPE supply chain issues both within Lark Hill and across the Care Sector.”
Speaking to the Mirror in response to this development, Ms Whittome said she is “pleased the various matters have been resolved.”
“I wanted to do whatever I could to support the residents of Lark Hill and to support my care sector colleagues, locally and nationally,” she added.
“I enjoyed being able to help my former colleagues during the Covid-19 outbreak, albeit at a very challenging time for the Care Sector.”