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Cash-grabbing hospital consultants, bug-infested showers and grow-your own livers

By Nigel Praities

Our roundup of health news headlines on Monday 14 June.

Daily Digest is back from the disappointments of the weekend, trying desperately to keep its optimism, but the newspapers are making this extraordinarily difficult.

The Guardian's front page today is looking at a ‘huge disparity' in death rates between hospitals for planned operations.

Their investigation found patients were less likely to die during aortic aneurysm surgery in larger hospitals, in data from an extensive FOI trawl.

In other cheery news, the Daily Mail is lambasting hospital consultants for their ‘bonuses of up to £76,000' agreed under a new contract introduced in 2003.

Good news that they have let up on GPs and Jonathan Ross for a while, but surely there are more obvious targets to direct their jealous outrage on?

Next – taking showers ‘can make you ill'. Yes - nearly a third of shower heads harbour significant levels of a Mycobacterium avium, say US scientists.

Levels of the bug were 100 times higher than those found in typical household water supplies in a ‘biofilm that clings to the inside of the shower head'. Lovely.

In an effort to end on a high note, we also have news this morning that you could now grow your own liver in a lab. With warnings over increasing numbers of people with liver disease, US scientists have come up with a novel way of growing liver tissue on a blood vessel ‘scaffold'. Still only in animals, but that is most uplifting health news we can manage this morning.

Spotted something we've missed? Let us know and we'll update the digest throughout the day...

Daily Digest - 14 June 2010