The minister for patient safety Nadine Dorries has been urged to apologise to Labour’s Nadia Whittome who was sacked from a care home during the pandemic for speaking out about the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE).
In May, the Nottingham East MP returned to the frontline to use her experience as a care worker to help with the on-going pandemic.
She had been working at Lark Hill retirement village for almost a month before she claimed she had been sacked for speaking out about the lack of PPE.
She said the situation was putting “lives at risks”, telling the media: “For so many in social care, who work for poverty pay, speaking out is not an option. This is wrong, and dangerous for residents.”
Whittome provided an email to reporters that said she would no longer be able to continue to do shifts because she had spoken to the media about the shortages and concerns over safety for staff and residents.
But the ExtraCare Charitable Trust described the reports as “inaccurate” with a spokesperson saying they had a “full supply of Personal Protective Equipment”.
It prompted minister Dorries to tweet the claims of the company regarding their supplies of PPE, with the message: “Are you sure that speaking out was the reason she was sacked?”
The response was retweeted more than 1,000 times and liked more than 2,600 times, with her followers calling Whittome a “leftist liar” and “utterly dishonest”.
Other Tory MPs including Robert Courts, Alicia Kearns, and Mark Jenkinson also joined the pile on.
Now care home bosses have backtracked and admitted they did have a shortage.
The Mirror reports it has seen a statement from Mick Laverty, ExtraCare’s Chief Exec, which reads: “Nadia raised these issues regarding PPE in good faith and with the best interests of everyone involved at heart.
“In conjunction with Nadia, we made a number of appeals for extra support with PPE supply and, which helped us obtain further supplies of PPE.
“For example, in March 2020 we made several online requests for PPE across social media and requested that Nadia consider recording an appeal video for PPE on 3 April 2020 to help us obtain further supplies.”
Twitter called on Dorries to issue an apology after her prominent tweet.
One Twitter user wrote: “Hey Nadine Dorries, I’m pretty sure you owe Nadia Whittome an apology. Nadine? Nadine? Have you gone to hide in Bojo’s fridge?”
Stan Munchausen tweeted: “Worst of all this woman is minister for patient safety. Patient safety was clearly compromised here with the PPE shortages, and Dorries didn’t seem to bother to investigate further.”
Daisy Ecksmakina said: “We await your full and frank apology after your disgusting attack on this MP”.