Two weeks on from the latest episode of the Remploy saga. Several thousand people have read that post, mostly thanks to links from prominent bloggers including Wat Tyler and NHS Blog Doctor.
As well as writing about the issue on my blog, I contacted my MP via the incredibly useful and informative They Work For You website. And the ball rolled...
The result of writing to my MP so far has been a pale yellow letter which arrived this morning, three lines thanking me for my correspondence and telling me that the matter is being raised with a "ministerial colleague" at DWP.
The result of blogging, however... the "Quality Matters" team at Remploy have seen my blog. They then did enough detective work to find my email address (not difficult given the amount of information they hold about me, but slightly more complicated than just clicking an 'email me' link) and sent me a nice email telling me that they are taking it seriously and starting an investigation. The investigation will be led by "a senior manager" from outside the department with whom the issues originated. They've given a timescale and provided me with a Service Level Agreement. They also replied immediately to my request that I be contacted by letter or email rather than by telephone. Even despite my usually high levels of cynicism, I'm feeling quite hopeful that the issue will be noted and taken seriously and maybe even avoided in future.
I also found out this morning that my MP is actually (sort of) connected to the DWP. He's one of the MPs who appears in this BBC News story which does a sterling job of confusing suspected or "potential" fraud, and overpayments due to cockups by the DWP, with actual Criminal Benefit Fraud as wilfully and successfully perpetrated by Very Bad People. Sigh.