AN INVESTIGATION has been launched by Thames Valley Police and an NHS mental health trust after the mother of an Oxford teenager who died in its care was called "a nasty cow" in an abusive answer phone message left by someone claiming to be an employee. 

Campaign group 'Justice for LB' said Dr Sara Ryan, whose son Connor Sparrowhawk drowned in the bath three years ago while in the care of Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust's unit in Headington, received the message at work on Friday.

The person who left the message, which was released yesterday, said they worked for the NHS trust and called Dr Ryan "vindictive", after she has been campaigning for those responsible for her son’s death to be held to account.

The answer phone message left for Dr Ryan said: "I feel awful that you lost him, I’m so sorry... but I do think you are being very vindictive. I think you are a vindictive cow.

"On TV all the time, ummm, slating the NHS, Southern Health. With your intelligent background, you know, as much as much as anyone else knows, that Southern Health only took over those units in Oxfordshire recent, you know the recent months before your son died.

"You know, with your background, it takes a while to make changes in anywhere, and I think now you’ve just become a [inaudible] and you want some attention, but you are vindictive and you are unpleasant, and you are a nasty cow."

Thames Valley Police spokesman Gareth Ford-Lloyd said police had been made aware of the call after it was picked up.

He said: “Earlier today as a result of a pre-planned meeting with Dr Ryan, TVP was made aware of a malicious telephone message made to her on April 29. This has now been recorded as a report of a malicious communication and is currently under investigation.”

A string of reports by watchdog the Care Quality Commission (CQC) raised concerns about units ran by Southern Health and a review was also launched after an inquest into the death of Dr Ryan's son Connor found it was "preventable".

The 18-year-old, who had learning disabilities and autism, drowned in a bath following an epileptic fit.

Speaking in the House of Commons yesterday, Health Minister Alistair Burt admitted the latest CQC report on Southern Health made for "disturbing reading" and said the Government had not ruled out the possibility of an inquiry.

A Southern Health spokesperson said: "We have been made aware of the phone message through social media, and the content is deeply concerning. 

"The trust cannot condone such behaviour and we take matters like this extremely seriously.

"We urge anyone with any information to get in contact with us so a full internal investigation can take place."