The radiographer is quoted in the national press as saying she felt that uncovering her arms compromised her faith by contradicting the Islamic dress code for women.
The Department of Health guidance, issued last year, states that all staff must bare their forearms as part of a hygiene initiative to combat superbugs.
According to the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, where the woman worked, she originally complied with the ruling for seven weeks and only recently raised the issue.
The trust denied that the radiographer was forced out and defended its policies. Clare Edmonson, director of human resources, said: ‘The policy was explained to her when she began working for the trust and must be observed by all staff for safety reasons.’
Dr Majid Katme, a representative of the Islamic Medical Association, attacked the NHS ruling. ‘There is absolutely no scientific basis for what they are trying to do,’ he said. ‘She was an innocent lady – this ridiculous decision may prevent her from feeding her family.’