Almost four months on from the tribunal, his parents – Richard and Maxine, who run the post office in Thorpe End – are doubtful their son could be with them for Christmas.
“I feel like I’ve been kidnapped,” Oliver Lang said. “It’s making me depressed.”
‘The mental health system is like a castle’
In Franz Kafka’s novel The Castle, a man called K struggles to gain access to the mysterious bureaucrats of a castle who govern his village.
Kafka died before he could finish the book, but the novel helped give rise to the term Kafkaesque, to describe bureaucratic nightmares.
Mr Lang’s family must sympathise with K’s situation.
Yesterday his father said: “I have discovered the mental health system is like a castle.
“It is hard to get in, but once in you can’t get out of it.”
His parents have written to MPs, the Care Quality Commission and have been passed from the Department of Health, to NHS England, to the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust, to Norwich Clinical Commissioning Group to NHS Hertfordshire.
“The problem here is arranging the necessary care,” lawyer Paul Veitch said.
“It has been very difficult for me to establish exactly who is responsible.”
We’ve been saying this for a long time but in less beautiful language.
There are hundreds of bureaucrats in dozens of quangos but nobody takes responsibility for the crisis in mental health services, as the coffee-drinkers, paper-pushers and clipboard-huggers have endless meetings and blame each other and ‘the system’. There is no sense of urgency or personal responsibility.
The lack of local and ministerial accountability of the NHS introduced by the Health & Social Care Act is a disaster. Thanks for nothing, Norman Lamb.
But let us remember that Norman Lamb is neither an opposition MP nor a backbencher, however much he likes to pretend that he is. Why did HM Government’s Minister of State at the Department of Health directly responsible for mental health not resolve this issue months ago? Watch Norman Lamb claim to be appalled now that an election looms and the EDP has published the story. We’ve seen this behaviour so many times before.
Read the full story by Tom Bristow on the EDP website: