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Sleuth 23/04/2010

Trafford Healthcare vultures, James Corden, Bulb lights up, Smoking ban, many Sleuths and no UFOS

Published on April 23rd 2010.

Sleuth 23/04/2010

Sleuth is a sideways glance at the city every week. We give £25 for every story/rumour and piece of absurdity you find for us to print. We ask for the money back if any legal action follows.

Trafford Heathcare vulture ads
Confidential has a Freedom of Information Act request on Trafford Healthcare. Following a visit to Trafford General Hospital a member of Confidential staff was given a leaflet about exercising the affected body part. On the back was an advert for a firm of solicitors in Altrincham – check out the picture here.

Manchester and Salford Heathcare Trusts don't allow this ugly type of victim pursuit. It's deemed unsavoury, morally reprehensible. Trafford Heathcare got all cagey about the reasons behind allowing such advertising and the criteria used to decide who advertises with them - hence the Freedom of Information Act request.

The problem for Sleuth is that with the NHS costing the country around £100bn per annum, then he feels it's despicable for a tax-payer funded Heathcare Trust to encourage further burden on the country by alerting people to solicitors who will worm around the law to profit from compensation claims. Claims that will often be against local authorities. Thus hitting public money further.

Of course we all need legal redress if necessary and if deserved. But this smells very bad, smells predatory. The line 'Have you been injured in any kind of accident?' makes Sleuth nauseous. The word 'any' is emphased. Sleuth's question would be: 'When are compensation claims about justice, when are they about lining legal pockets?'

James Corden and Alex Poots and Christine
Sleuth was sitting drinking fresh orange juice in Rosso this week wondering if Manchester International Festival was going down the popular TV route for 2011. Roly-poly comedian of the moment, James Corden, bounced in, two steps ahead of International Festival Director, Alex Poots and Communications Director, Christine Cort. Turned out to be mere coincidence with Corden recording something in the restaurant and Poots and Cort checking it out for guests. Mandy Smith and Nicola Smith were in there too. Rosso, it struck Sleuth, has been sprinkled with A,B,C list celebrity dust: they're never out of there.

Sleuth's proof there are no UFOs
For six days there were no flights over Manchester and the UK. Sleuth kept looking into the skies. He was disappointed not to see any UFOs. Didn't hear any crank reports of them as well. Sleuth has to sadly conclude that we are all alone. Unless aliens also have trouble with Icelandic volcanic ash.

Many Sleuths
Sleuth was in the Ox Hotel on Liverpool Road in the city centre on Thursday when he was overwhelmed by doppelgangers. Three of them. He was confused. There's only one Sleuth surely.

Smoking ban language
Sleuth was in the Ox Hotel for a quick snifter with Neil Sowerby, Sareda Dirir and Janet Reeder, all writers. Sareda has the extra string to her bow of being a prospective Labour councillor for a Salford ward. Janet, who's been known to have the odd cigarette, looked around the pub and said, "You know, I haven't been in here since the smoking ban". The ramifications of that sentence unravelled like a ball of wool for Sleuth, past all the boarded up pubs in the UK. It seemed to encapsulate what a massive landmark the 2007 smoking ban was in Britain's social history.

Bleary eyed problem
Sareda Dirir is trying to win the Claremont ward in Salford from the Liberal Democrats. She's talented, clever, good-looking and very sharp. She stands a good chance given a fair wind, especially after campaigning to save local recreational land for residents from the bulldozers. "Yes," she told Sleuth. "The local elections are on May 6th at the same time as the General Election. Because of that I've been campaigning with the Labour MP for the area." "Who's that?" asked Sleuth experiencing a moment of concern for Sareda. "Hazel Blears," said Sareda. Sleuth gave her a look. "It's been fine," said Sareda. Sleuth thinks with friends like that.... Still if Sleuth were a Claremont resident he'd be giving the committed Sareda a closer look.

Green leafleting tactic sees double
In the surge for Nick Clegg, the smaller parties are being shorn of even the tiny amount of attention they've had at previous elections. The Green Party must be one party feeling the bite particularly keenly. That must be the reason why they're trying really hard to reach the voters. At one Castlefield apartment block they delivered their election leaflet one day. And then the very next day delivered the same one again. Sleuth would like to point out to the Green Party that leaflets don't grow on trees and this type of campaigning is hardly sustainable.

Light in the Northern Quarter
Sleuth was walking down Church Street the other day. Saw a new Italian restaurant, The Bulb, in the old Coliseum building. He groaned and went in prepared to be underwhelmed by another bloody bit of Italian fakery – far too many plastic-Med places have opened recently. But it was nothing of the kind, it was a charming space, with a great seafood pasta dish. Sleuth will be back. It was a bit quiet though. “We've been very busy actually,” said the waiter when asked about this, “today is an exception, although Church Street, doesn't help, it has a lot of interesting characters shall we say.” Sleuth turned just in time to see a man walk past with so many metal studs in his face he could probably reverse the Earth's magnetic field single-handedly. He was pushing a pram.

Sign of The Times – fashionable pub writers
Eric Jackson who has written extensively about pubs in this magazine, is showing that after a long career as a journalist in the Guardian Media Group, career opportunities can crop up from unlikely sources. Here's Eric as a model in The Times of London – click here. He's looking fetching in a 1970s canal-boat folk music festival sort of way. Good lad Eric, kept it up.

Is it because I is yellow?
Confidential had a stall at the RSVP event management convention at Manchester Central. This chap below, seeing our fetching colour scheme, tried to muscle in on our glory. Maybe he's reached that point in his career where he needs a helping hand from Manchester's number one independent magazine. Innit.

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21 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousApril 23rd 2010.

Trafford Heathcare are being scandalous, but maybe they can get more money from solicitors than say from taxi firms. And that would help the Trust maybe. Still it does stink of exploiting the misery of people at a difficult time and hanging the carrot of ill-gotten gains for their lack of commonsense in not, say, tripping on a pavement.

AgricolaApril 23rd 2010.

I find Healthcare trusts who do things like that simply vile

AnonymousApril 23rd 2010.

That doesn't prove there are no UFOs, just that they are very clever

AnonymousApril 23rd 2010.

Unless the aliens live in the volcano. And use the ash to escape without us noticing

AgricolaApril 23rd 2010.

I can't believe Trafford are doing this. It's evil wrong.

AnonymousApril 23rd 2010.

Trafford Heathcare Trust. Check out the word trust. Unbelievable

AnonymousApril 24th 2010.

Trafford Heathcare should be ashamed of themselves. But the predatory solicitors preying on misery won't ever be. This is scandalous

lesley14278April 24th 2010.

re Rosso. Went there last Saturday night. Loved it. Well run large operation. Glad that space is having some success.

Aeron HaworthApril 24th 2010.

The comment about the smoking ban is very true. I don't think the full extent of its effects on the pub trade has fully been appreciated because, shortly after it was introduced, the country plunged into recession, and this tended to be blamed for the lower footfall. But, for the majority of borrowers and people with mortgages, at least those who managed to hold on to their jobs, the low interest rate has meant more money in our pockets, not less. But, as a smoker, I know I haven't been out half as much as I used to. It's too much of a drag (no pun intended). I can appreciate non-smokers not wanting to drink in a smoky atmosphere but there had to be a better solution than a total smoking ban. While smokers might be in a minority as a percentage of the general population, they possibly weren't as a proportion of pub-goers. And the claim that the smoking ban would encourage a new breed of non-smoking customers to frequent pubs clearly hasn't materialised in the numbers necessary to stop pub closures. Sadly, I can't see there being a re-think on the ban no matter who gets into power after May 6. RIP the great British pub.

Aeron HaworthApril 24th 2010.

Re Trafford General Hospital, Man Con should ask if they would be willing to allow a solicitor's firm that specialises in clinical negligence claims to advertise in their literature. I'm guessing not!

AnonymousApril 24th 2010.

I sat (past perfect) I was sitting (past imperfect) I was sat (poor English). The same goes for 'I was stood'. Nuff said. EDITORIAL. Thanks, changed. But there was more to say.

Wayne18825April 25th 2010.

There's a report in the Sunday Telegraph today about compensation claims at visitor attractions. Thus a man who seeing the V&A's food counter unattended, attempted to steal some soup, burnt his finger and successfully won £400 for his injury from the museum. A woman, while trespassing at Carlisle Castle at 2am, fell into the moat and received £15,000 for her injuries. How can people, if breaking the law, seek redress? An interesting quote is this: "In many instances the organisations involved paid out far more in fees to the claimant's lawyers, prompting criticism of so-called 'ambulance chasing' lawyers and system that awards them 'success fees' from personal injury cases."

AnonymousApril 25th 2010.

EDITORIAL. &quotThanks, changed. But there was more to say.&quot Quite. Hence the other comments, albeit under another name. I only mentioned the grammar because it pops up a lot on this site. I used to do the same - I think it's a northern thing - but my English-teacher mother picked me up on it. I was just passing on her pearls of wisdom lol.

AnonymousApril 26th 2010.

Keep up the campaign against Trafford Healthcare. They can't be allowed to get away with this. It's profiteering with misery, signing a pact with lawyers to take money from the system that supports them.

Adam14524April 26th 2010.

If that advertising money is being spent on the NHS, then what is the issue? Granted, it is pretty tasteless advertising, but if it relieves a little pressure on a tight NHS budget then I'm all for it.

Lord of the PiesApril 26th 2010.

That trafford healthcare thing is a scandal!

AgricolaApril 26th 2010.

But Adam what about the money that then takes out of local services because people are suing councils about paving stone injuries they should have been careful to avoid? This is morally wrong. Instinctively so, which is why presumably Manchester and Salford don't do it.

Adam14524April 26th 2010.

I understand the morality issue, but we are subjected to the advertising of these types of companies all the time. If someone is that way inclined, they will contact one of these companies anyway.

AnonymousApril 26th 2010.

In that case the Heathcare Trust doesn't need to use the advertisements as the 'type' of people who make these claims will still use the vulture lawyers. Is that your notion? In which case you've just destroyed the whole premise of advertising.

AnonymousApril 26th 2010.

Probably the NHS gets too much money, or rather it uses too much money poorly - on for example publicity. I bet Trafford Healthcare and all the other Trusts have pr and marketing departments. Why? And can we also make NHS staff walk a bit quicker and get a sense of urgency, I recently spent three hours in a local hospital burning with frustration over a missed job as staff wandered around at about .5 mph looking miserable.

Anthony16175April 27th 2010.

Trafford hospital allowing the blame and claim solicitors to advertise on their own premises is like turkeys voting for Christmas. I imagine that the solicitors make a nominal payment to trafford for their adverts, then quickly break even with the first equally greedy compo that sues Trafford. They must be laughing all the way to their nearest Porsche dealers. I despair at the stupidity and immoral greed involved in all of this. If I wasn't a taxpayer I'd find it hilarious.

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