Connor Sparrowhawk death: Voicemail abuse left by Southern Health worker

Connor Sparrowhawk Image copyright Sara Ryan
Image caption Connor Sparrowhawk, 18, who died at Slade House, had epilepsy and experienced seizures

A woman who left an abusive voice message for a grieving mother is an employee of the NHS trust in charge of the mental health unit where her son died, police have said.

Sara Ryan has campaigned for changes at Southern Health since her son, Connor Sparrowhawk, drowned in a bath in 2013.

Thames Valley Police said the caller, who called Dr Ryan a "vindictive" and a "nasty cow", had been given a warning.

Southern Health said the employee was being dealt with internally.

A spokesman said the trust was taking the matter "very seriously" and were dealing with the employee through a "robust internal process".

Police have not named the caller.

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Media captionThe voice sent to Dr Sara Ryan has been passed to police

Last week the trust, which has faced severe criticism for numerous care failings, admitted full responsibility for the teenager's death.

The recording was left on Dr Ryan's answerphone in May, on the same day that the Care Quality Commission issued a report criticising the trust for "continuing to put patients at risk"..

The caller told Dr Ryan: "You know as much as anyone else knows that Southern Health only took over those units in Oxfordshire [in] the recent months before your son died.

"You know with your background it takes a while to make changes... and I think now... you want some attention, but you are vindictive and you are unpleasant and you are a nasty cow."

An inquest jury found in October that neglect contributed to the death of the 18-year-old who drowned after suffering an epileptic seizure while unsupervised.

In December, an investigation commissioned by NHS England found that only 272 of the 722 deaths in the trust over the previous four years were properly investigated.

Southern Health provides specialist mental health and learning disability services in Hampshire, Dorset, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

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