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Monitor under pressure over 'gaps in expertise', Coalition pledge shattered by rise in waiting times, and a headbanging haematoma health warning

A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines on Friday 4 July.

The competition watchdog Monitor has come under fire by ministers for spending too much on senior managers and management consultants, and for just 21 out of its 337 staff having ever worked in the NHS.

The Telegraph reports a Commons Public Accounts Committee report has damned the regulator for having more than 30 managers on £100,000 or more, and for spending a fifth of its budget on management consultancy services.

PAC Chair Margaret Hodge said: “[Monitor’s] effectiveness is undermined by a lack of frontline NHS experience. It is currently spending £9 million a year out of its £48 million budget on consultants to fill gaps in expertise.’

Waiting times for common operations have risen steeply under the Coalition, despite a pledge by David Cameron to bring them down, The Guardian reports.

Hernia patients now wait 10 days longer than in 2010, patients wait 14 days longer to get their adenoids removed, and 15 days longer to have their tonsils removed, NHS data reveals.

Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association, said: ‘While we appreciate the financial squeeze in the NHS, it cannot be at the cost of patient care and should not mean that patients are suffering, as these figures suggest that they are.’

And patients of a long-hair and leathers variety take heed. As thousands flock to heavy metal festivals this weekendk, The Independent reports that head banging could cause severe health risks.

A case study in The Lancet identified a 50-year-old man had caused a blood clot on the right-side of his brain, which is believed to have been caused by the ‘vigorous and rhythmic’ dance move at a Motörhead concert.

Dr Ariyan Pirayesh Islamian, the report’s lead author, said: ‘This case serves as evidence in support of Motörhead’s reputation as one of the most hardcore rock’n’roll acts on earth, if nothing else because of their music’s contagious speed drive and the hazardous potential for headbanging fans to suffer brain injury.’

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