By Claire McKim
A FORMER serviceman has died suddenly at a residential care home at the centre of a bullying investigation.
The body of Mark Forrest was discovered on Monday at a home in Dundee run by the charity Scottish Veteran Residents (SVR).
Police are investigating the death and regulator the Care Inspectorate has confirmed it is looking into complaints about intimidation, bullying and harassment at Rosendael in Broughty Ferry.
Mr Forrest, who was 38 and had served around the world with the Royal Air Force, is believed to have lain dead for two days.
Allegations about the regime at the SVR-run home were made to the Care Inspectorate a month ago.
A spokesman at the Care Inspectorate confirmed the regulatory body had received complaints.
He said: “We have received a number of complaints in recent weeks relating to Rosendael, a registered housing support service. All of the allegations are currently being fully investigated by us.
“We have also been in discussions with both Tayside Police and with the adult protection team at Dundee Council regarding a number of the issues raised with us.
“A vital part of our work is to investigate complaints or concerns about the quality of care in any service.”
Mr Forrest, who lived in Kintore, Aberdeenshire, from the early 1990s, was a member of the local cricket and rugby clubs.
He worked as a propulsion technician with the air force, a role which took him to Northern Ireland and Saudi Arabia.
His parents, Lloyd and Janet, who still live in the town, were too upset to comment last night. They are waiting for the procurator fiscal in Dundee to release their son’s body.
Ian Ballantyne, chief executive of Scottish Veterans Residences, said he was aware of the police investigation into Mr Forrest’s death but was not aware of any allegations made by residents.
He said: “The Care Inspectorate has not been in touch with me and where these allegations come from I’m not sure.
“We are aware of the death and that has been reported to the police but we have not had the police report so I can’t comment on that.
“When I receive a formal complaint from the Care Inspectorate I will be in a position to investigate the matters but until then I can’t comment on individual allegations.”
The residential home employs the services of Gardening Leave, a charity that treats ex-service personnel for post traumatic stress disorder.
Heather Budge-Reid, chief executive of Garden Leave, a charity that provides a “safe haven and therapy for veterans” said: “I am aware that residents have concerns about some staff members at the home and I have discussed them with Mr Ballantyne, but only as part of our future plans and how to move forward.
“I am also aware that there was an issue with Rosendael staff accessing Garden Leave’s computer and we are investigating that.”
An insider at the Rosendael facility said residents were devastated by Mr Forrest’s death.
The source added: “I sent a message to Care Inspectorate in which I have stressed that since my complaint into the management of Rosendael, the bullying and intimidation, no action seems to have taken and that due to this, in my opinion, had they conducted the inspection they promised and met with the residents who wished to speak to them, Mark was one of these people, his death this last week may have been avoided.
“My reasons for complaints are only an attempt to stop this happening again.”
A spokesman for Tayside Police said: “Tayside Police confirms it is carrying out an inquiry into the full set of circumstances surrounding the sudden death of a 38-year-old man at an address in Victoria Road, Broughty Ferry, on August 27. There are no apparent suspicious circumstances and a report will be sent to the procurator fiscal.” The P&J understands the allegations about the regime at Rosendael – which is run by Scottish Veterans Residences (SVR) – were made to the Care Inspectorate a month ago.