A mother whose daughter died after ambulance failings has criticised a service for repeated errors after receiving a long-awaited apology for her death. 

Quinn Beadle was 17 when she died in December 2018 after ending her own life in woodland near her home in Shildon, County Durham.

Failures by a now-dismissed paramedic who attended the scene and the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) in investigating his errors were exposed in May 2022. A damning report into the incident was published in July 2023 and found accounts from those attending as part of an investigation had been removed and amended. 

Questioning the service’s bosses at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Darlington this week, Tracey Beadle, Quinn’s mother, asked why it took her four-and-a-half years to receive an apology from NEAS in August. 

A letter from the ambulance service sent in May never arrived.

The Northern Echo: Quinn Beadle was 17 when she died in December 2018Quinn Beadle was 17 when she died in December 2018 (Image: Handout)

Read more: NEAS got Quinn Beadle's date of death wrong in official apology

But the letter erroneously said Quinn had died five-and-a-half years ago, instead of four-and-a-half years ago. Mrs Beadle also says she has been referred to as “Mrs Quinn” in the past and Quinn has been referred to as a male. 

She added: “You can’t get my daughter’s name right and you’re addressing me as my dead daughter’s name.”

Chief Executive, Helen Ray, said the errors were down to human error but vowed to get it right in the future.

“I can only apologise for instances where mistakes have been made in correspondence,” said Ms Ray. “We will endeavour to make sure that doesn’t happen again. There’s no intent behind it.”

At the time of Quinn’s death in 2018, former NEAS paramedic Gavin Wood declared Quinn dead rather than trying to perform CPR. He was struck off by an employment tribunal panel earlier this year after it heard he failed to carry out standard procedures, such as clearing her airways.

Months after Quinn’s death her brother Dyllon tragically took his own life. 

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An extraordinary meeting, hosted by NEAS, was held in August to discuss the outcome of the report into the incident. Yet, Mrs Beadle asked why nobody else had been disciplined and criticised the lack of communication with her since Quinn’s death. 

She said: “Four-and-a-half years, and the only person who has faced anything is Gavin Wood and that’s because I reported him, not NEAS. Will anyone ever be held to account?

“At the extraordinary meeting, you lied to my face, so in a room where it’s just the two of us I do not trust you one bit to tell the truth to me. Every time there was a meeting about my daughter’s death not a single minute was taken. How can that be?”

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The Northern Echo: Helen Ray, chief executive at NEAS, vowed to improve the service Helen Ray, chief executive at NEAS, vowed to improve the service (Image: PA)

Mrs Beadle’s concerns come as NEAS was also criticised for its response after Peter Coates, of Redcar, died in 2019. He called 999 when a power cut stopped his oxygen supply from working, however an ambulance crew couldn’t get out of the depot and another crew had to refuel on the way to his home. When paramedics arrived, he was declared dead.

NEAS said it accepted Mrs Beadle’s concerns and is open to discussing them further but wouldn’t discuss cases involving individual employees. 

Mrs Ray added: “We cannot imagine the devastation for all of you who have had to deal with the loss of your children. We have accepted fully and publicly that the trust did not handle that well. You and your family deserved better at that time. We remain wholly committed to answering any questions for you, and we reiterate our desire to meet with you.”