A nurse has been struck off for risking the lives of patients who had fallen ill abroad by delaying their flights back to the UK so he could extend his stay in exotic locations.

Matthew Cornford worked as a nurse escort for First Assist Services- an international medical assistance company based in Purley.

A Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) hearing was told last Monday that Cornford extended his stay in locations, including Australia, Thailand and Mexico, days after medics confirmed his patients were fit to fly home.

Cornford failed to attend the hearing in Central London, but admitted the charges in relation to five patients.

The panel ruled his fitness to practise was impaired by his misconduct and struck him off the NMC register.

Judith Worthington, Chairwoman of the panel described Cornford's actions as "significant departures from the standards expected of a registered nurse" and were "fundamentally incompatible with him remaining on the register."