Nurse who took teenage lover abroad struck off by NMC
- 13 September 2013
- From the section Leeds & West Yorkshire
A mental health nurse who had a "sexually motivated" relationship with a teenage patient has been struck off.
Mark Western shared a bed with the 18-year-old and took her away to Portugal while working for South West Yorkshire Partnership Foundation Trust.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council said his behaviour breached a "fundamental tenet" of the profession to make patient care the "first concern".
Mr Western did not attend the hearing, but admitted the charges against him.
The nurse, described as an "older, experienced man", was appointed as key worker to the girl, known as "Patient B", in April 2010 when she was 17.
'Pushed beds together'
From December 2010 to April 2011 he was in "almost daily contact" with her, and wrote 'LOVE U 2' and 'If you disappeared it would break my heart' in a series of text messages.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) panel heard that in March 2011 he flew with the girl to Portugal for a five-day holiday.
One witness told the hearing Mr Western admitted sharing a room with the girl in Portugal and said he pushed their two single beds together.
The panel also heard he had spent a night in a single bed with Patient B at Aldam House, the supported living unit where she was staying in Pontefract.
The panel said: "By embarking on a sexually motivated course of conduct with Patient B, he failed to establish and actively maintain clear sexual boundaries with a vulnerable patient in his care.
"In so doing, he exploited Patient B's vulnerability and thus abused his position of power."
Mr Western was also found to have "failed to maintain appropriate boundaries" with a second patient in 2009 when he put his arms around her while working for the Wakefield District Community Healthcare Services NHS Trust.
An investigation by West Yorkshire Police into his involvement with both girls was not pursued.
In a letter to the NMC Mr Western said he would not be seeking employment as a nurse in the future.