She added: “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.

“This is wrong and dangerous for care home residents and patients.”

Ms Whittome is now calling all care staff anywhere in the UK who feel they have faced intimidation or disciplinary action at work for speaking out about PPE shortages to contact her office.

She told PA that ExtraCare made it explicit she was being asked not to return because of her comments about PPE.

ExtraCare, which is a charitable trust, said Ms Whittome returned to work on a casual basis and had worked eight shifts between March and April.

“Our in-house care team are now fulfilling our needs at this time and Nadia’s help is no longer needed,” it said in a statement.

“At Lark Hill, we have over three months’ supply of PPE, including over 25,000 pairs of gloves, 7,700 aprons and nearly 6,000 masks – we have access to further equipment should we need it.

“Reports that we have a PPE shortage are inaccurate and have caused concern amongst our residents – we have had to invest a significant amount of staff time reassuring our residents as a result.

“This has occurred during a critical period when all of our resources have to be focused on protecting our residents’ safety and welfare.”

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