AN ambulance sent to help a girl who was found unconscious in her room at a secure children’s centre was delayed because it went to the wrong location, an inquest has heard.

Selwyn Morgans, the manager of Aycliffe Secure Centre, in Newton Aycliffe, said he did not think the delay had an impact on the death of 17-year-old Taylor Alice Williams, who was living at the centre when she died on February 18, 2017.

Mr Morgans said: “We have put up a lot of signs since the death of Taylor but actually it flies in the face of what we should be doing. We shouldn’t advertise where it is because sometimes we have situations where people want to get to children they shouldn’t.

“What happened with the paramedics is the sat nav directed them to the ambulance station which is about 150 metres away. There was a sign up to say where Aycliffe Secure Centre was but I suppose if you’re flying in with blue lights you might miss it.

“We have since changed that.”

He added: “My understanding is the delay did not have an impact.”

Taylor, who had been taken into care by Worcestershire County Council in 2014, moved to Aycliffe in July 2016 after it was decided she needed to be in secure accommodation following several hospital admissions.

The inquest at Crook Coroner’s Court heard details about how the centre, which can look after up to 38 children between the ages of 10 and 18, operates.

Taylor was living in Auckland house, which has space for eight children.

Mr Morgans told jurors the centre tried to provide a “normal environment”.

He said: “The young people who come here are vulnerable and challenging. They’ve been through the care system, had numerous homes and foster placements.

“Sometimes the level of damage is too much.We do get a lot of young people who self harm.”

He said there were a number of provisions in place to make it difficult for children to hurt themselves.

He added: “As much as we can we do to make a place safe, we do.

“Young people find hundreds of ways to self-harm. It’s not a sanitised and sterilised environment. It can’t be. We are dealing with difficult and troubled teenagers who have to be able to live a life.”

The centre has three levels of monitoring, 15 minute checks, five minute checks and enhanced checks.

At the time of her death, Taylor was being checked every five minutes.

The court heard the centre had records of 113 episodes of self-harm by Taylor during her eight months there.

Mr Morgans said: “Taylor was an intelligent girl. She would plan things in advance and would see things we wouldn’t.

“She was ingenious in the ways she found the self harm.”

The inquest continues.