EDP: ‘I feel like I’ve been kidnapped’ – mental health patient who should’ve been released speaks out about ordeal

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:

EDP ‘I feel like I’ve been kidnapped’ - mental health patient who should’ve been released speaks out about ordeal

6 thoughts on “EDP: ‘I feel like I’ve been kidnapped’ – mental health patient who should’ve been released speaks out about ordeal”

  1. As cuts to health and social care budgets bite deeper we will see more and more demarcation disputes, more and more fragmentation of services and lack of any strategic planning. For goodness sake why is Hertfordshire managing the learning difficulty service in Norfolk? We can envisage more disputes between Norfolk County Council and NSFT over what is a social care case, what is a health case, disputes between Clinical Commissioning Groups over the supply of psychiatric beds, disputes over what is mental health, what is a learning difficulty, is this primarily a drug problem or mental health problem? etc etc. Isn’t Norman Lamb incredibly quiet about the collapse of the Section 75 ( Integration ) agreement between Norfolk Social Services and NSFT (Mental Health Services)? Cuts make demarcation disputes more likely, cuts will worsen the fragmentation caused by the Health and Social Care Act.. Let’s do away with unaccountable bureaucrats and let those who actually do the caring and treating run the service, in conjunction with patients and carers. We need real democracy in government and real democracy in public services.

  2. What we are seeing here I believe is an example of Hegelian dialectal chicanery. From a national perspective the aim of the government is to convince the electorate that the NHS as it stands is unworkable. As more and more people become disillusioned with the services they receive the government can then make the case that they would be a lot better off with whatever new system is offered – you can bet that it won’t be free at the point of delivery.


  3. Dear Tom Bristow at EDP, I’m sending you a load of information in relation to my pursuance of mental health treatment and care across Cambridgeshire, all I can say is I have pestered my local conservative MP “Steve Barclay” so much he no longer reply’s to my emails or letters, and it is my belief that the conservative party are actively covering up their deficiency with the NHS across Cambridgeshire in respect of mental health care and treatment, briefly to say here that over 6 months I was referred to 8 different psychiatrists whose reports varied widely giving no clear plan of action, I also complained to the Cambridge and Peterborough NHS foundation trust and met two senior people at Peterborough hospital, un yet has my complaint been taken seriously, the biggest problem faced is the high criteria level to access secondary care and the community crisis team from your GP, there are also no walk in triage centres or home visits from the community crisis team. It is ironic that “Steven Barclay” is heading a high profile pre-election debate on how to best use the “NORTH CAMBS HOSPITAL” at Wisbech only to draft out new proposals without any adult mental health facilities, ironically as they are trying to prevent the hospital from closing for lack of use, may I also point out that the “National institute for clinical excellence” sets out that patients returning from secondary care to their GP should be provided with a CARE PLAN, this is not what happens in practise and patients do not receive regular check-ups on their condition or regular reviews of their medication, when you consider mental health patients cannot always be trusted to monitor and contact their GP on their own volition when things go wrong it is hardly surprising we see violence in our streets with people running a mock and wielding offensive weapons like a machete or samari sword, unfortunately the NHS covers this up by saying the patient knows “right from wrong” and what they were doing , thus they are arrested by the police and sent to prison when in fact at that exact moment of time they were not rationally in control of their own mind and suffered a lack or absence of judgement. Mr Lamb announced priority would be given to diagnosing “psychosis” which means “hearing voices and / or waking up in the morning and wanting to kill someone”, unfortunately this is the most severely disturbed mental health condition and does not actually address the lack of on-going care and treatment for psychotic, psychopaths and sociopaths who make up the vast majority of mental health patients, psychopaths and sociopaths are just as caper able of killing someone as well as stalking, torturing and harassing / raping women etc.  in fairly common circumstances as their condition worsens up to psychosis.

  4. People who are mentally ill are far more likely to harm themselves than other people; they can also be vulnerable to exploitation when unwell and also run the risk of violence from others. Sometimes it seems that the powers that be only react when a serious crime is committed by someone who is mentally ill. We have seen a spate of suicides in Norfolk and Suffolk of patients known to the mental health services but nothing has been done to improve services, and futher cuts are in the pipeline. Mark makes an excellent point about the discharge of patients from secondary services. Many patients do not even know that they have been discharged yet alone have a care plan or crisis plan for re-referral when needed.

  5. Sadly, sending info to that awful rag, the EDP, is a complete waste of time. It has its own agenda and that’s selling copies, not standing up for the community. Any integrity left the building at the same time as the last editor!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top