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just had a run in with the maternity ward bounty photographer

(801 Posts)

And having previously defended them and loved my pictures of my eldest children todays 'rep' has made me agree they need to be removed from wards!

She arrived originally before breakfast turned on the lights and opened curtains waking me and the other Mum up, then continued to talk over the peadiatrician who was checking my dd over.

Eventually she sulked off but apparently came back when I was asleep (how dare I?) Last time she came back as I'd just settled dd and was eating lunch which had just arrived.

I said No photos at the minute thanks she got most insistant that its for security reasons?? (I'm going home today) and said she'd just lean round and take them, dd was asleep on my lap in a v pillow whilst I ate. I said again, not right now I'm eating she left brochures and went off muttering quite loudly.

I'm hormonal so ofc this has upset me, but not as much as the first time mum across they way! WHY are these people allowed to just walk around a maternity ward being so fucking rude!

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Wed 02-Jan-13 11:26:54

did that petition ever go live?

RedToothbrush Wed 02-Jan-13 20:39:05

Don't know.

I've had acknowledgements of my FOI requests.

Interestingly since I used only my initial and surname apparently I'm a Mr... Good to see sexism is alive and well in the NHS.

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Wed 02-Jan-13 21:01:39

"Interestingly since I used only my initial and surname apparently I'm a Mr.."
nice hmm

nappyaddict Wed 02-Jan-13 23:56:50

Dontbeatmeupitsxmas What about if they want photos? Presumably they have to give their name and address then? Or can they pay cash and get the photos the same day?

Sheepasaurus Thu 03-Jan-13 00:16:18

I read the previous thread on bounty last March when I was about 37wks pg. I was quite miffed when I didn't get any agro from the bounty lady when I told her I already had my CB form printed off and had already taken loads of photo's of my daughter. I hadn't slept for over 48hrs and was looking forward to a row!

RedToothbrush Sat 05-Jan-13 17:10:16

I have received one response from Western Sussex NHS Trust. (I've got Trusts totally confused in this, so this one is in effect a completely random one - I'd got my wires crossed, as they were mentioned in this article from the telegraph)

Official response is here but I've posted their reply below; The Trust's response is in bold, and all my comments on this post are in italics:

ACCESS
1) When are Bounty Salespeople/Representatives allowed on post-natal wards?
With permission of the Ward Manager. Bounty have a variety of contracts with different Trusts. At WSHT they have a photographic contract to provide mothers with photos of their babies if they so wish to take up the option.

2) Is this inside or outside normal visiting hours?
This is generally outside of normal visiting hours although on the wards the partners have free access to visit at any time.

3) Do they sell bed to bed?
The process does not normally offer a bed to bed sell, but the photographers will try to go to the appropriate new mothers. Any restrictions are communicated with them via the staff.

4) Are they permitted on the ward unaccompanied and unsupervised by hospital staff?
Yes, within their role.

DATA PROTECTION AND PRIVACY
In light of Article 8 of the Human Rights Act 1998 "Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence." which installs a right to privacy under UK law and duty bides public bodies to ensure the privacy of people, when they are placed under their care, especially if they are classed as vulnerable:

5) If Bounty Salespeople/Representatives are permitted on ward, how does the Trust ensure that they do not have any access to private or confidential information especially where part of their job is to collect data of patients for financial gain or work on a commission basis?

The data collected by Bounty is gained by the mothers themselves completing the cards attached to the Bounty packs and given voluntarily. The Bounty Personnel do not have access to the office or the patient records.

6) How does the Trust protect the physical privacy of patients from Bounty?
Bounty staff have to ask the mothers permission to approach.

7) What measures are in place for patients who do not wish to be approached during their stay in hospital?
They can make it clear to any member of staff who will restrict them from visiting and the mother does not have to receive the free Bounty pack.

8) Does the Trust have a formal system to identity these patients to Bounty without revealing any personal details or details about their treatment?
Yes, by stating for example, do not visit bed 3, in E bay or bed 2 in F bay etc.

9) Has a formal assessment been carried out to assess whether patients' rights are being properly protected in the presence of a commercial party?
No known formal assessment has been undertaken but have experienced mothers asking for their free Bounty packs.

INFORMED CONSENT FOR PATIENTS
10) Are patients informed about Bounty's commercial interest during ante-natal care so they can make an informed decision about whether they want to engage with a Bounty Salespeople/Representatives if they are admitted to hospital?
There is no formal discussion regarding Bounty.

11) What procedure, if any, is in place to ensure that all patients are made aware that Bounty Salespeople/Representatives will be on the ward upon their admission?
The photographic service is advertised on the ward.

SALES PRACTICES
In light of The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 how does the Trust ensure that Bounty does not pursue Misleading or Aggressive sales practices?

Managers meet regularly with Bounty personnel and any complaint is fully investigated so that no aggressive sales behaviour happens.

With particular reference to Aggressive commercial practices, the trading regulations state that:

"In determining whether a commercial practice uses harassment, coercion or
undue influence account shall be taken of—
(a) its timing, location, nature or persistence;
(c) the exploitation by the trader of any specific misfortune or circumstance of such gravity as to impair the consumer’s judgment, of which the trader is aware, to influence the consumer’s decision with regard to the product";

12) How is this ensured in a hospital setting with patients who are
a captive audience and who may also be within 24 hours of a general
anaesthetic (and therefore unable to give informed legal consent), still
under the influence of drugs, be in a heightened emotional state,
recovering from a traumatic operation, suffering from a lack of sleep
following a lengthy labour or otherwise more vulnerable than normal?
There is no direct bed side selling. If a photograph is taken one is given free. At a later date at home the mother is sent a pack of what is available is she wishes to choose anything. It is not done within 24 hours.
Quick but quite important note: a commercial practice, under Trading Standards, is ANY practice that is for commercial gain so asking for personal details to sell on to a third party at a bedside would also constitute a commercial practice

With particular reference to Misleading actions "A misleading omission can also occur where a trader fails to identify the commercial intent of a practice, if it is not already apparent from the context."

13) Are Bounty Salespeople/Representatives clearly and easily identifiable as being not part of the hospital staff at all times?
Yes

14) How do the Trust ensure that patients do not mistakenly think that Bounty nor any of the companies they represent are in any way affiliated to the hospital or NHS?
Bounty staff have to introduce themselves to the mothers as staff working for Bounty.
For the record: This isn't actually in Bounty's code of conduct - see here Bounty staff under the code of conduct only have to identify themselves to ward staff not patients!

TRAINING AND RESPONSIBILITY
15) Who is responsible for Bounty Salespeople/Representatives on the wards?
Their employers

16) Are any hospital staff on the ward trained to identify aggressive or misleading sales practices to ensure the protection of patients?
Staff are always observant and are trained to listen to the concerns expressed by the women/relatives.

17) Does the Trust train Bounty staff in anyway about sensitivity, respect and privacy of patients, particularly where there maybe women and babies who may be experiencing additional complications or problems?
No, the Trust does not train Bounty Staff but would not allow access to women experiencing such issues.

18) Does the Trust assess Bounty's staff training before any representatives are allowed on the ward?
No, this is the role of their employer.

QUALITY OF INFORMATION
19) How does the Trust ensure that information being provided by Bounty or its representatives or on behalf of commercial organisations is in line with current Department of Health health messages?
All information in Bounty packs are reviewed by maternity staff and any information which is not appropriate i.e. formula milk advertising is taken out of the packs on request.

20) Is this information regularly checked for any updates/changes?
Bounty ask all the Trusts to review any new information that goes into the pack at any time.

21) Are Bounty staff either properly trained to be able to accurately answer, or told not answer, any health related questions that might be raised by patients?
Bounty staff should not be giving any health advice to mothers on the ward. No training is provided by the Trust to support this.

COMPLAINTS
22) How does the Trust deal with any complaints about Bounty staff?
Through the normal complaint process. The employer is asked to investigate and make an action plan for improvement.

23) How do you ensure that Bounty staff adhere to the same level of professional conduct as staff employed directly by the Trust?
The Bounty staff are not employed by the Trust but by Bounty who will be responsible for the conduct of the staff.

24) How accountable are Bounty held for any breaches of privacy or inappropriate sales practice?
Bounty are accountable for their employees.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST
25) Does the Trust benefit financially, whether directly or indirectly, from the presence of Salespeople/Representatives?
Yes there is a contract of agreement which includes some remuneration not necessarily always financially, services in kind like printing Trust documentation or providing staff photoboards etc.

26) If so, how does the Trust ensure that the best interests of patients are not being compromised?
Through the complaint process but to date the Trust is unaware of any women declining to receive a free Bounty bag and in exchange provide her name and address.

I've not properly picked through this yet, with the exception of the two notes. Personally, I'm seeing a few problems with the response as in, I think you could drive a bus through it but would appreciate people having a look at this and commenting on the problems with it before I do. There seems to be a rather serious lack of accountability though.

One massive problem is that any benefit to the women on maternity wards/ new mothers through receipt of this paltry bag of freebies and/or photo opportunity is so negligible as to be clearly worthless, especially in the light of the serious concerns and experiences expressed on this thread.

Where is their cost/benefit analysis of the service to it's patients

RedToothbrush Sat 05-Jan-13 17:32:57

Just a point; if you give them your personal details to sell on, they are they still freebies?

And note what Western Sussex said about patients asking for their free Bounty bag and giving details in No 26...

Its A COMMERCIAL PRACTICE that Western Sussex themselves don't seem to have grasped, so somehow I'm not entirely convinced that patients will...

Been following this in shock and angry

I will pick holes in the response after kids in bed but well done RedToothbrush for an amazing set of questions! Do you mind if I base a request to my local trust on them?

pomdereplay Sat 05-Jan-13 17:37:02

Thanks for the update Red. Am intrigued by their response to the last question; I had my daughter in a WSHT hospital and was harassed by the Bounty rep whilst trying to establish breastfeeding with my daughter post-EMCS and PPH. She also provided false information regarding obtaining the CB form. Luckily, I had briefed my partner on the menace of these salespeople and he backed me up on telling her where to go -- but the point is I AM a woman who refused to give my details and did not want the pack. My daughter was born 10 months ago -- too late for a complaint I wonder?

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 05-Jan-13 17:39:48

The data collected by Bounty is gained by the mothers themselves completing the cards attached to the Bounty packs and given voluntarily. The Bounty Personnel do not have access to the office or the patient records

This is what I find most concerning, the fact that the trust does not recognise that there may be a problem with women who may have just given birth being asked to give their details to a marketing organisation. These women may well not be in position to read the small print, or even realise it is not something to do with hospital admission.

Bounty have no benefit to the mother whatsoever other than perhaps photography, but that is something that could be initiated by the patient, rather than Bounty.

RedToothbrush Sat 05-Jan-13 17:42:49

LiftWantedAroundTheWorld, please feel free to copy and paste. I'm happy to do any similar ones on behalf of other people if they don't want to do them, themselves.

If there are similar responses to this from other Trusts, I think there is a very clear path forward from here (and it would be great to get MNHQ involved at that point). I'm trying to put everything together into a single, though lengthy pdf too, to set out all the problems.

There is an option at the end of the FOI to request a formal internal review, which is interesting and might be whats needed, but I'm going to leave that for now...

Ooh, definitely respond about your experiences pomdere in the light of their comments "that they are not aware of any woman declining the Bounty pack" or however they precisely put it. Great that it's your trust that has been first to respond !

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 05-Jan-13 17:44:30

Its A COMMERCIAL PRACTICE that Western Sussex themselves don't seem to have grasped, so somehow I'm not entirely convinced that patients will

I cant help wondering how many NHS staff actually do know this. The view is that Bounty ladies are these benevolent people who love babies, and just want to help mothers out with sound advice, newborn photographs, and generous freebies. The Bounty lady who posted earlier on this thread, seemed to have this view, even seeing herself as part of the maternity ward team.

How many people in the NHS maternity chain are actually aware of the true nature of Bounty's business?

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Sat 05-Jan-13 17:44:47

exactly what itsallgoingtobefine

is a contract signed by a woman whose been awake for 48 hours and weak and possibly in a fever or under the influence of opiates valid? (I was all of the above when the Bounty lady came to me on the post natal ward)

Is there something we can look into about mental capacity to sign these things?

Ooh, and you should go for that formal, internal review IMHO RedToothbrush - You'd be fab ! (when you're ready to of course. I agree your questions are brilliant ! How pleasing to have had your first response from a Trust, and so unsatisfactory too ! grin)

RedToothbrush Sat 05-Jan-13 17:48:37

pomdereplay, COMPLAIN if you have the time! They say they have no complaints... Even if its 10 months ago, and they consider it too long, its a great opportunity to express concern. I'd also say why you haven't complained sooner as thats REALLY important to, to their assessment of the service.

One of the things I'm working on, is making a case for problems over this lack of complaints issue. This is where I'm at atm:

What we should be reflecting on is:
1)How easy it is to complain? (including knowing who to complain to).
2)How comfortable women feel about complaining?
3)Whether given the timing (having just given birth and having a newborn to care about) they are likely to complain if they have a problem?
4)Whether they think their complaints are important?
5)Whether they think their complaints will be taken seriously?
6)Whether channels to complain through seem fair and unbiased?
And making a point that this is against the public backdrop of such a dismissive attitude to complaints from Bounty and responses from Trust, putting the blame straight back onto Bounty and taking no responsibility whatsoever themselves.

I can understand the arguments about "mental capacity" of women following birth, but wonder if we'd be in a stronger position if we went more along the lines that these commercial interests are at best an irritation and at worst a cause for serious upset and distress to mothers on post-natal wards.

ie, We don't want them there ! End of !
No possible benefit to us - that should be enough ?

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Sat 05-Jan-13 17:56:09

the arguement that seems to be used by some reps and staff and probably trusts that women are "happy" to take the "freebies", because that is what they see on the ward

but on the ward you might have no fight in you and just want her to go away, so seem "happy" to take it and it's not until later that you get angry about having your BFing/stitches inspection interrupted.

you're just not always in a position to express your unhappiness at the time, and in the absense of that you appear "happy" to have them there and complient etc

Yeh, plus you don't know til you look in the pack quite how crap it's gonna be grin

pomdereplay Sat 05-Jan-13 18:06:50

Definitely going to complain. I was getting over birth trauma both physical and mental for many of the past 10 months - something else I have to thank WSHT for! I will happily draw their attention to the fact that I was forced to decline the 'service' Bounty offers following their dreadful behaviour last February. Funny how blissfully unaware the staff wrte pfy experience and refusal given I was in an 'acute' bay! Every little helps towards getting this scourge off our postnatal wards, I hope.

pomdereplay Sat 05-Jan-13 18:10:01

were of my experience, rather. Thanks iPhone.

RedToothbrush Sat 05-Jan-13 18:11:10

Going back to Trading Standards, they have terms in the glossary laid out and they have a specific definition of 'vulnerable'. Its the exact word that has been used by the NCT and NHS North Lancashire. And the BMJ article 'Mutiny over the Bounty' from 1984 (which you can read in full here and is interesting as it shows just how little the debate over this has gone forward and seems to be heavily relying on the one about, being established and part of the experience of a maternity ward) which was mentioned in the Telegraph article says: "Mothers in the puerperium are susceptible to commercial pressure, and this is recognized and exploited by Bounty".

I wonder if it could be applied to all patients in hospital, not just women who have given birth - under the infirm definition (well they ARE in an INFIRMARY)?

14.37 Consumers are only (within the meaning of the CPRs) treated as vulnerable, to a practice or to the underlying product, if they are vulnerable because of infirmity, age or credulity:
•infirmity (mental or physical): this covers a range of infirmities including sensory impairment, limited mobility and other disabilities. For example, consumers who need to use wheelchairs might be a vulnerable group in relation to advertising claims about ease of access to a holiday destination or entertainment venue, or those with a hearing impairment may be a particularly vulnerable group in relation to advertising claims about ‘hearing aid compatibility’ in a telephone advertisement.
• age: it may be appropriate to consider a practice from the perspective of an older or younger consumer. For example, the elderly might be particularly vulnerable to certain practices connected with burglar alarm sales, or children might be particularly vulnerable to advertisements relating to toys shown on daytime television.
• credulity: this covers groups of consumers who may more readily believe specific claims. The term is neutral, so the effect is to protect members of a group who are for any reason open to be influenced by certain claims. An instance might be members of a group who, because of a particular misfortune, might believe certain claims more readily than others.

The rules for targeting vulnerable groups are somewhat tighter than the general population.

RedToothbrush Sun 06-Jan-13 17:38:04

Just been reading a Department of Health document on financial abuse of the elderly...

I didn't need to read far:

1 Introduction
1.1Background and purpose of this assessment
The Department of Health and the Home Office set out in the No Secrets guidance that safeguarding adults is a key responsibility of local authorities. This guidance has led to the development and implementation of multiagency policies and procedures to protect vulnerable adults.
There can be no secrets and no hiding places when it comes to exposing the abuse of vulnerable adults. (DH/Home Office, 2000)

1.2The definition of a vulnerable adult
The definition of a vulnerable adult is currently set out in No Secrets (DH/Home Office, 2000):
Someone who is, or may be, in need of community care services, by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness; and who is, or may be, unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation.
1.3What is financial abuse/crime?
The No Secrets definition of financial abuse is:
Financial or material abuse, including theft, fraud, exploitation, pressure in connection with wills, property or inheritance or financial transactions, or the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits. (DH/Home Office, 2000)

1.4 safeguarding
Safeguarding covers a range of activities aimed at upholding an adult’s fundamental right to be safe. Included in this is the right for a person to be safe from financial exploitation.

2.2Detail of the problem
The diversity of financial crime against vulnerable adults makes it difficult to provide a single, all-embracing solution to the problem. Prevention and responses need to take into account the nature of the perpetrator, the detail of the crime and the level of vulnerability of the adult.
A perpetrator may be a family member, friend, care worker/professional or a stranger who has chosen to target a vulnerable adult. Abuse can range from not acting in the person’s best interests, to persuasion or coercion in respect of gifts or loans, misappropriation of property or allowances, theft, rogue trading, or mass-marketing fraud.
Regardless of the nature of such abuse, or the methods used by perpetrators, the resulting impact on vulnerable adults can be significant.

2.2.2.1 Perpetrators
A range of perpetrators target vulnerable adults in a variety of ways. A distinction can be made between those acting in a position of trust and all other perpetrators. Perpetrators of financial abuse may simply be driven by opportunity; those who occupy a position of trust may have a greater opportunity to commit financial crime.
Research evidence suggests that financial abuse is most frequently perpetrated by a person acting in a trusted capacity, for example, a family member or, to a lesser extent, friends, neighbours or care workers/other professionals.

I haven't bothered to even read any further. I don't actually think I need to.

I just look back at Western Sussex's reply number 9 with my mouth wide open and aghast...

RedToothbrush Sun 06-Jan-13 17:48:31

In fact its not a document about the elderly alone, the link was from an elderly organisation, however the document is actually entitled:

Assessment: Financial crime against vulnerable adults

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