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Campaign to end Bounty sales reps' access to maternity wards - please read and share

(864 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 11-Jun-13 22:16:27

Evening all,

Thanks to all of you who have taken the time to fill in our survey on Bounty and share your stories - from the initial idea onwards, this really is a campaign that has been prompted by your concerns, as posted on Mumsnet.

The survey showed that a very large majority (82%) felt it was unacceptable for Bounty sales reps to be on hospital wards, as well as highlighting a number of other concerns about Bounty reps' selling practices, so we're calling on government to end this kind of direct selling/data collecting on NHS wards. See more here.

It's clear, from the survey results, that, even after Bounty updated its code of conduct (these results only include users who gave birth from May 2012 - the full results containing prior data are here) its practices leave a lot to be desired, and that Mumsnet users feel very strongly that the maternity ward is no place for a hard sell, so we're really hoping that government will listen to us.

Here's how you can help...

Please sign the petition

If you're on Twitter please tweet your support for the campaign with the hashtag #bountymutiny and the following link:

If you're on Facebook then please like campaign page our campaign page (there's a FB link to click at the top on the left).

If you're on Google+, well, you'll know what to do.

We'll, of course, keep you posted here about the campaign and any developments. Thanks to everyone for their stories, honesty and input. Here's hoping we can make a difference!

wickeddevil Tue 11-Jun-13 22:34:26

Thanks Justine
Really pleased to see this - and will be supporting the campaign

Excellent. Will share on FB now.

really pleased to see this it was mners who supported me when a rep really upset me when dc3 was born end of 2012, nearly 6months later her behaviour is still ruining my memory of dd2 arrival.

what's the fb page called the link isn't working for me.

Raaraathenoisybaby Wed 12-Jun-13 00:16:36

Can't do the twitter link....

AtYourCervix Wed 12-Jun-13 04:01:36

How much trouble am i going to be in when i print off all of that and put it in strategic places at work? and when has that ever stopped me?

courgetteDOTcom Wed 12-Jun-13 05:34:31

I've just written an article about this for the magazine I edit. glad to see MNHQ on this!

I've also had a debate with the other editors that MN has everything Bounty does and is more ethical. the rest (ctb forms and photography) are not unique this bounty!

AtYourCervix Wed 12-Jun-13 05:45:08

The problem is the £2.3 million. The NHS is not going to want to lose that.

MadonnaKebab Wed 12-Jun-13 05:56:18

2.3 million sounds a lot, but compared to the NHS budget of over a hundred billion it really is quite insignificant, and not worth compromising patient privacy over

LoveBeingUpAt4InTheMorning Wed 12-Jun-13 06:32:50

The fact is if it was handled better it could continue. There is no reason for new mums to be harassed in their beds hours after giving birth. They could have daily sessions in the day room for those who want to take part to go along and join.

But just as big a problem is the attitude of the reps. I've heard positive stories (well one) of a mum of twins where the rep came in everyday and gave her two bags and my own of not believing I didn't have an email address to give.

AmandinePoulain Wed 12-Jun-13 07:49:06

I may be the lone voice here but my experience of the Bounty rep was actually positive - she approached me firstly in antenatal clinic, and then on the postnatal ward. She asked if I wanted a pack, I initially said no because I didn't want to give my details (after being bombarded with useless stuff after dd1 was born), and she said that I didn't have to and just handed me a pack each time. I threw away all the bumf and kept the freebies wink grin.

I wasn't offered Bounty photographs, a local studio came round the postnatal ward offering those, but they were offering vouchers to use at a later date in their studio, not offering to take photos on the ward which is a better approach I think.

Theselittlelightsofmine Wed 12-Jun-13 07:52:24

It's on BBC news smile

Tee2072 Wed 12-Jun-13 08:01:57

The Facebook page link doesn't go to FB, it goes to MN page.

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 12-Jun-13 08:11:50


The Facebook page link doesn't go to FB, it goes to MN page.

Yes blush: we'll sort in just a tick. Thanks!

Vicslamb81 Wed 12-Jun-13 08:26:20

I'm so pleased you're doing this mumsnet! The bounty rep I encountered was intrusive and patronising. I'd had an emergency c-section and was desperately focused on getting my baby to latch on to breastfeed. When I told her we weren't interested in photos she gave me a really filthy look and flounced off! Get rid of these reps from maternity wards - marketing tactics at their worst.

DeepRedBetty Wed 12-Jun-13 08:45:44

Oops... dtd1 has just Liked the FB page. Her own silly fault for leaving herself logged in last night!

Right, liked, petition signed, petition and MN links shared with my friends, my BFPS group, another BF group I'm part of, and a few other parenting groups!
Now what...? <dons thinking cap> grin

Elquota Wed 12-Jun-13 08:59:58

Very pleased to see this campaign. Thank you MN!

Christineawalker Wed 12-Jun-13 09:09:39

thank you-at last the practice of taking personal details from new and still fragile, mothers the day after giving birth-is under the spotlight!!
This happened to me over 20 years ago after giving birth to my 2nd.child in homerton hospital hackney.a woman came round giving free samples,I declined, saying that I knew it would only lead to masses of junk mail advertising baby products, as that had happened after my first child.she expressed total amazement saying I was the first person she had ever come across to refuse free goods! as I lay there exhausted she then managed to give me the free goods AND get my name and address off me! I had a year of junk mail. I have always been upset about this and I sincerely hope that your campaigne to stop this practice is successful. It is intrusive and immoral.

Vickirose Wed 12-Jun-13 09:21:02

When I refused to let them take my daughter's photograph the woman was completely shocked - I don't think anyone had ever said no to her before.
She was very pushy and rude and eventually, just because I was completely exhausted following my C-section and just wanted her to go away, I agreed to fill in her form - but I would not have normally done so and I afterwards I felt like I'd been bullied into it.
The maternity ward is not the place for the hard sell, a woman who has just given birth is extremely vulnerable and Bounty are exploiting that. I strongly agree with this campaign.

TwitchyTail Wed 12-Jun-13 09:25:45

Definitely agree that a day room session for people who want to be involved, or a leaflet on the bedside table to be handed in to staff if a woman is bedbound but a Bounty visit is actually wanted, would be a MUCH better system and a decent compromise. It is utterly unethical for a patient to be approached directly by any sales rep.

courgetteDOTcom Wed 12-Jun-13 09:33:03

even if they're nice about it, it's STILL wrong!

would you think it was ok that they were nice about out if your grandparent was having a broken hip fixed and a rep came in out of visiting hours whilst they weren't decent and offered them a bag full of things from equity release ads to samples of Horlicks?

willyoulistentome Wed 12-Jun-13 09:39:25

I totally agree with this campaign.

I had never heard of Bounty - not havng been a Mum before. After my first birth I was shocked, in pain, tearful, traumatised, and frankly all over the fucking place. I was in no position to deal with a sales person. I didn;t fully grasp that that was what they were. I had the impression that they were somehow somebody 'official' - like the nurse coming to check the baby's hearing,and all the other medical types that pass through. I was made to feel I would be letting a precious chance of a photograph of my baby slip thorugh my fingers, as they change so quickly, even hourly at this stage.

It's just WRONG.

Looking at the situation afresh, if you were going to create the best possible place for a new mother and baby to be would it include random visits from a stranger collecting personal details for commercial profit and giving out a very paltry bag of free samples of baby products, leaflets and vouchers ?
No, it wouldn't !
Most of the time visits from Bounty are a mild irritation and slight disappointment (you look at your free gift and discover there's little useful in it) You feel slightly patronised whilst reading Emma's diary but possibly have little else to read.
Occasionally Bounty really mess up and ask a mother where her baby is when baby is in SCBU, and other similar cases of insensitivity.
Hospitals agree to this for the sake of a few quid per patient because they are so incredibly stretched for resources they can't afford to give the new mother one nappy for her newborn themselves !
Madness !
Just one small part of the failure to put women's needs first during the birth and post-natal period, and indicative of the dire state of resources in post-natal care.

Mine was nice, but its not about the hard sell. As I said on the other thread (in the news) random people should not be on a ward. Other mothers relatives made me feel uncomfortable enough when my fanjo was bleeding ridiculous amounts and I couldnt walk!

danieljowen Wed 12-Jun-13 09:47:17

I'm so pleased Mumsnet is campaigning on this. I remember when my son was born four years ago being appalled that Bounty reps were given access to maternity wards - a place where new mums need to feel absolutely safe and relaxed. I was even more horrified when my wife was handed her first Bounty pack by an NHS midwife (presumably no Bounty reps were available) - the hospital flatly denied their staff ever did this when I complained about it. I really hope this campaign succeeds.

YoniMatopoeia Wed 12-Jun-13 09:47:55

Great that this is a campaign. I am past having any more children (I hope!), but the fact that women, at a very vulnerable point, can be targeted by unsupervised commercial staff is completely unacceptable.

And how sad that the hospitals feel they need the money to allow this to continue

buswanker Wed 12-Jun-13 09:50:16

I have shared this on Facebook.
It's great mumsnet have done something to support women when they are vulnerable.
Thanks mumsnet yet another reason to love this site!

willyoulistentome Wed 12-Jun-13 09:54:45

Also Bounty are saying they have had few complaints.

Well I didn't complain, as it was not on the top of my priority list - what with having just given birth and all. But I still resented it, once I realised what it actually was.

Yes, of course that's why they've had relatively few complaints willyou - because a new mother will have a few other things higher up on her priority list !

Also with all the confusion around roles and responsibilities any complaints are quite likely to be directed to the hospital ?

In spite of being so keen to collect our details I'm not sure Bounty are so quick to give us theirs in case of any complaint !

EuroShaggleton Wed 12-Jun-13 10:09:52

Great campaign. No other group of PATIENTS (because that is what women are when they are on the post-natal ward) are subjected to bedside marketing. Can you imagine the outcry if e.g. benecol went round cardiac wards approaching people just out of surgery who are still a bit groggy and upset? And yet somehow this has been allowed to happen to women who have given birth (some of those births involving surgery).

Tailtwister Wed 12-Jun-13 10:26:36

I'm very pleased about this campaign. It's shocking to me that any kind of sales person in allowed access to women at such a personal and often fragile time. The Bounty reps are dressed in a very similar way to the nurses, they pull back curtains when women have them closed (often for examinations or breastfeeding confidence), pick up babies without permission and coerce mothers into thinking they need to hand over their personal details. Women need to be protected after giving birth, not harassed.

MalcolmTuckersMum Wed 12-Jun-13 10:29:33

That is an excellent point Euro. How about Mobility aid manufacturers doing the rounds of the orthopaedic wards? Would that be ok? This is absolutely outrageous and thankfully wasn't around when I gave birth but I have no doubt I'd have been hmm and confused as I'd had a terrible first labour and was in complete shock.

ActionLog Wed 12-Jun-13 10:50:08

Bounty is an appalling scheme and needs removal.

On this:

"Occasionally Bounty really mess up and ask a mother where her baby is when baby is in SCBU"

Well occasionally they ask where the baby is when the baby has died. How upsetting do you think that is?

I'm sorry Action - that's so sad sad

MummyOfSunbeam Wed 12-Jun-13 11:16:50

Action - that is heartbreaking. sad

I am so so glad mumsnet is taking this up. My rep was ok, but it is still OUTRAGEOUS that the NHS is selling Bounty access to women at such a vulnerable time.

Lonelybunny Wed 12-Jun-13 11:25:01

I had a bounty rep come to me when I just had DD3. we also had my other two children and my mum there. I also had the midwife asking me a lot of questions , the bounty rep butted in asking me my name,address,email and all this rubbish. she then said she would like to take some family snap hmmI said I don't want to be in them ive just given birth im still in a dirty nightdress no thanks , she wouldn't give up she said "go to the bathroom and change and put some make up on shock I said I only have what I came in with last night etc anyway she got her own way cause DP loves a photo but all in all she was there forever and I was still in a mess and so tired ! I really want these banned or at least have the midwife ask if you RE INTERESTED first before they come barging through the curtains !

Wowserz129 Wed 12-Jun-13 11:38:30

Really hope this campaign takes off! Well done Mumsnet smile

merrymouse Wed 12-Jun-13 11:55:34

I think the impression they give - that if you buy the right stuff you can be a better parent - is very dodgy. I can't think of a single offer in the pack that didn't involve spending completely unnecessary money. Even if you are the kind of person who likes a bargain, none of the products they were promoting were useful in anyway.

dipeploe Wed 12-Jun-13 11:57:28

Do they still hand out socket covers?

No, not in the last two packs I've had

I dont think they should even be there if the midwife asks first. Firstly, its giving the midwives more to do, and secondly, theres still a stranger on the ward even if you say no, they'll be there for the people who do say yes. And the packs shouldnt be given to the midwives to give out, cause then they are seen to endorse the companies that advertise in them.

I support this. When going to give birth I had no idea this was a company. Along with many others I assumed they were hospital staff. The constant stream of necessary people is enough, you really don't need the bounty rep too. My memory is hazy, but luckily I only had to deal with one insistent lady when my 2nd was born, not with the other two. She was horrified I did not want to pay £10 (or whatever ridiculous sum) for a picture taken by her with a supercrap camera. Otherwise polite, but just the fact you have no idea who they are and they pester you for information, whilst you're on morphine and have a newborn is not on.
You know, I'd pay the hospital £5 if this is what they make off bounty, just to put an end to it.

GoingGoingGoth Wed 12-Jun-13 12:10:08

Brilliant, the reps area bloody nuisance, signed petition and shared on FB

noo1985 Wed 12-Jun-13 12:13:25

I think I may be one of the only people who had a positive experience and treasure the photographs that were taken of my DD she looks absolutely beautiful and I never felt pressurised into doing anything. I agree the packs are basically full of crap but I was disappointed that I never got to have the photograph with my DS as we got out to quickly afterwards. I personally don't agree with the hate campaign really I appreciate clearly some representatives clearly seem to be rude but I didn't experience it and I feel that some mothers can be just as rude back to the representatives. At the end of the day if you don't want to have the photo or the pack then just say no, they are only doing ajob and they get abuse back as well! Don't hate me for my opinions I understand people have had bad experiences but I also think those who have ad good experiences need to be heard to!

Jergens Wed 12-Jun-13 12:14:27

Good on MN for starting thus campaign! I missed the Bounty rep with DC2 as I was discharged same day. Glad to miss the hard sell and free samples but annoyed to find out later on that the pack included my form for universal child allowance (not sure if that's what it's called).

I am at a loss as to what exactly the samples are. Sil said you get a fab pack when you go on the labour ward. well I arrived at 2 am and ds1 was born by ventouse in a room full of a stand-by crash team at 5.50 am and I didn't get the labour room pack ha ha.

But with ds2 I did. And it was crap. Same as the antenatal pack. Tons of leaflets, one nappy, a couple of wipes, and a sachet of formula for over 6m. That was IT.

I felt that they were so used to having the run of the wards and getting access to mums that they didn't even have to put any effort into what went into the packs. In fact I would go so far as to say the 'selection' of freebies is insulting, if its meant as the incentive for us to sign up.

So its not as if they are giving out any incentives. If I hear I am getting a goodie pack then I want GOODIES!!! Not leaflets and vouchers for money off very expensive products (Venture photos I am looking at you).

Oh and the Red Book thingy you get when you leave hosp could easily include the Child Benefit form.

cjbk1 Wed 12-Jun-13 12:38:41

I'm not going to pop back as I'll get flamed but I just want to say my experiences with bounty were fine and I loved the opportunity to have professional newborn

I am sad to hear of unsubscription problems esp. after sad losses

I don't work for bounty

Splinters Wed 12-Jun-13 12:42:02

I don't agree with direct marketing in to patients in hospitals, especially not to new mothers recovering from the birth and dealing with a new baby! I don't think Bounty should be allowed to do it.

HOWEVER, I also feel I need to say that the Bounty rep at the JR in Oxford behaved very well when I gave birth in February. I had coached DH extensively on the evil of Bounty and how to avoid them, but she knocked, asked if it was a convenient time, and explained why she was there. I said that I didn't want a pack because I didn't want to give my details. She said that was fine, I didn't have to, gave me a pack anyway, just noted my room number on her chart and left. The pack was pretty rubbishy, but the rep was actually fine.

Splinters Wed 12-Jun-13 12:42:54

(Nothing about photos either)

But surely noo any number of positive experiences still shouldnt mean that people are subject to another person wandering around the ward?

My DH is a lovely guy and the father of the babies I was in having, yet I still wouldnt suggest he should be there all day just because I want him there, because it would make the other women on the ward uncomfortable. How is this different for someone who isnt even there for the baby, but is there to sell?

Elquota Wed 12-Jun-13 12:47:02

I wouldn't want "goodies" either. It would most likely be stuff I didn't want, like scented baby wipes or perfumed bubble bath.

10storeylovesong Wed 12-Jun-13 13:05:25

The bounty lady came bursting into the private room that I was in as my baby was seriously ill in SCBU, asked where my baby was, watched me cry as I explained then waltzed out saying "well, you won't need this then, will you?".

Absolutely disgraceful. Petition signed.

FuckThisShit Wed 12-Jun-13 13:07:13

I'm staggered that this is still going on. When I had my first almost 20 years ago the bag was simply left by our beds.

When I had my second a year later the Bounty rep asked for me details and after a couple of minutes of my saying a firm no thank you, I was 'rescued' by my consultant and I went home a couple of hours later.

Number three was an emergency section at 28 weeks, my life was very much in the balance for a week, along with my tiny baby. When I was out of ICU, along she came bossy and rude for over half an hour. I think she finally got the message when I yelled 'will you just fuck off and leave me alone'. I've never heard such silence on a maternity ward. It was awesome, and the added bonus was that she didn't come back for the next few days.

None of that grief for me when I had number four, as that was abroad, where they automatically take newborn pics and give you a huge bag of thoroughly handy stuff including pamper stuff for post section delicate old me. For free.

DoughaDeer Wed 12-Jun-13 13:13:40

I'm also amazed it's still going on. Seven years ago my baby was also in SCBU - I couldn't move after an emergency c-section and the lady burst in and was so incredibly rude. Also told me that I 'wouldn't be needing a picture' and then (while I was still high as a kite on morphine) told me I HAD to give her my details - phone & address - as it was a government requirement angry I didn't know any better and signed. For the next six months we were bombarded with calls from baby-goods-related people and the crap that came through the door was ridiculous.

I told her where to get off 18 months later when baby #2 arrived. I'm disgusted that they get this type of unfettered access in a hospital just so they can basically flog you stuff and create a mailing list angry

There are no Bounty reps in hospital where I live, the packs are given to you by the midwives. I am still not happy with my experience of Bounty though, as I made sure that I said no to passing my details on and yet they completely ignored that and did it anyway. I contacted the various companies that have sent me junk mail and they all confirmed that they got my details from Bounty.

If I go on to have DC2 then there is no way that Bounty are going to find out I'm pregnant

MNBlackpoolandFylde Wed 12-Jun-13 13:16:04

When I had dd1 it all went wrong, I ended up having emergency surgery for major bowel vaginal damage, I was completely out of it on morphine and had a lot of blood loss and transfusions and dd was poorly too, I had a really sales aggressive rep who insisted dd was removed from the "billy bed" for photographs on four occassions with a snotty "cant you just take her out!"

When I asked her to leave she was quite insistent I give my details, normally I would have told her to take a hike but I didnt know who I was never mind her at the time.

Jojobump1986 Wed 12-Jun-13 13:16:12

Totally agree that they shouldn't be on the wards but... They're not all completely evil! I had DS2 3 days ago he's so cute! & when the Bounty lady came round I reluctantly agreed because I was a bit distracted with getting ready to go home & couldn't be bothered to argue. She immediately reassured me that I didn't have to have it, I said I'd rather not & she happily toddled off to the next bed - I was stunned by how painless the whole thing was! smile

But no, she shouldn't have been there, even if she was really nice!

Worcestercat Wed 12-Jun-13 13:16:53

I agree with Lovebeingupat4inthemorning. It could be better managed and the option to visit the Bounty people in the hospital.
Personally, I have the most stunning picture of my youngest child at less than 24 hours old and it reminds me of how simply beautiful she was when she was born. I wouldn't have had the energy, time or skill to take the photo myself.
I do agree that the Bounty people visiting you were very 'nonchalant' about the fact I had just given birth and I did feel like any old Tom-Dick or Harry but then they aren't the only people on a maternity ward who are like that towards you............

BlingLoving Wed 12-Jun-13 13:20:22

I think the campaign is good, although I don't feel passionately about it, but... pedantically, on the letter to David Cameron, couldn't we have addressed him as Dear Mr Cameron or even Dear Prime Minister?

I am terribly old fashioned, I know, but I think a more formal approach to the man elected (sort of) to lead our country is perfectly appropriate. <old lady with knickers in twist>


Even if every rep followed best practice and didn't hassle patients, they still shouldn't be given the access they have. It happens on no other ward, and for good reason.

lijojo Wed 12-Jun-13 13:25:06

I have to disagree at all of the experiences above I am the mother of 4 and always found on each of the 4 occasions after giving birth the Bounty Reps to be polite, and if you say no, they withdraw politely with a smile and do not give you the hard sell. The Emma's Diary to first time mums on the ward was invaluable and for some mother's who are on a very low income, the samples were a godsend to them.

I actually found the absolute bullying by the midwives in the hospital on each occasion to breastfeed my babies on each occasion much more stressful than a rep coming around to ask to take a photo and ask if you wanted samples.

ilovesprouts Wed 12-Jun-13 13:47:18

ooh just seen justine on th news

rhythmdivine100 Wed 12-Jun-13 13:52:54

Read the article on BBC News and have joined Mumsnet to support this. I'm still expecting this so have never been on a maternity ward but couldn't quite believe what I was reading - does this actually happen???

I tell you what, ANY sales rep who approaches me straight after giving birth is likely to get a smack in the nose. Honestly, can you imagine this being accepted by men if they were in a similar situation, and with such aggression by the sounds of it? Testicular cancer ward anyone? I think I have a good idea what sort of response they would get. Women, don't stand for such crap!

Can we get it put it on the birth plan page.

You know 'Who will cut the cord?', Physiological 3rd stage or managed? Allow visit by Bounty rep?

Because when I gave birth the first time I was totally unprepared for the Bounty rep. No literature had been given regarding it and I was totally exploited and felt violated. Far worse than a vaginal examination which you have to give consent to.

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 12-Jun-13 13:59:42


Read the article on BBC News and have joined Mumsnet to support this. I'm still expecting this so have never been on a maternity ward but couldn't quite believe what I was reading - does this actually happen???

I tell you what, ANY sales rep who approaches me straight after giving birth is likely to get a smack in the nose. Honestly, can you imagine this being accepted by men if they were in a similar situation, and with such aggression by the sounds of it? Testicular cancer ward anyone? I think I have a good idea what sort of response they would get. Women, don't stand for such crap!

Welcome to Mumsnet, rhythmdivine100!

Mumof4granof1 Wed 12-Jun-13 14:09:23

I have joined mumsnet specifically to add my comments on this topic. Really grow up and start campaigning about something really important and not this preposterous hot air about nothing. I am a professional woman in my fifties with 4 children in their 20s. I was thrilled with my bounty bags. I became a bounty lady after my third child and spent a very happy year meeting lovely mums and babies and having a chat on my rounds. I was not on any commission. Mums with problems were off limits and the nurses always told me which ladies I could not visit.
In the face of so many genuine problems faced by young families today you should be ashamed of yourselves for creating a fuss about nothing and risking mumsnet's credibility in the national media. Bounty bags are not a worthy campaign.

I would love to be a bounty lady and get to visit loads of brand new babies, but I would always feel like an unethical and immoral intruder.......

Runkydunky Wed 12-Jun-13 14:14:52

Nothings changed then in 14 years!

The day after having my daughter we were (incorrectly, but thats another story!)told she had a congenital heart defect the same as me.
Obviously being told your perfect baby has something wrong is scary and upsetting.
Later that morning we had a visit from a rep who insisted that we need to have our daughters photograph taken for security (I don't know anyone who would refuse this request) and then proceeded to explain the costs for framed picture sets, keyrings etc!
What we weren't prepared for was the closing line of 'these will be treasured memories God forbid anything should happen to her'

I just burst into tears and my husband literally frog marched her out of the door.
We complained to a midwife, who forwarded the complaint to the Head of Midwifery at Liverpool Womens, we never heard a thing! Had I had more time after that I would have taken it further but new know how it is wink

phantomhairpuller Wed 12-Jun-13 14:17:18

Mumof4granof1, that's your experience. You only have to look at the negative experiences that are pouring in to see that you are in the minority.

I personally didn't have a problem with the bounty rep after either of my DCs were born but I can see why people might have. You're in hospital following one of the most exhausting experiences you'll ever go thru, you're feeling tired, emotional, vulnerable and overwhelmed and some stranger comes round and starts bombarding you with personal questions. I can see how people might have a problem with this.

Thanks for you're opinion but I wouldn't waste your time on MN any more if I were you confused

Songbird Wed 12-Jun-13 14:24:38

runkydunky Yes I was told a photo was needed for security too. Ridiculous now I think about it.

Mumof4 How lovely. Now perhaps read what people are saying about the reps they've had and next time don't belittle people's feelings on this issue. Congratulations on such a sensitive first post on MN!

YoniMatopoeia Wed 12-Jun-13 14:26:41

Mumof4 - the fact that there are other issues that could be campaigned about does not mean that this is not an issue.

The plain fact is that vulnerable PATIENTS should not be at the mercy of sales reps.

Have you read some of the stories on this thread?

Oh and Justine well done on your appearance on ITV news.

Mumof4, i have no issue with bounty bags, nowerdays its a load of leaflets advertising tat (apparently they did used to be better), but I'm a big girl, I can cope with seeing a bit of advertising without the urge to buy everything I see.

But I am not happy with a sales rep being allowed to go bed to bed on a postnatal ward when my husband and family had to stay out. And (I dont think I've actually mentioned this on MN yet in my 100 posts about this today!) when my local hospital is currently not letting in the breastfeeding helpers, who could actually be very useful!

I'm rereading stateofconfusions original thread btw, and getting even more irate...

I didn't know better when I had DD, I do remember the rep coming after she was born and I was still stuck in bed from CS. I am sure she implied the CB form was only available in the pack.

With DS I was more informed (it was still 9 years ago), and I got hold of a CB form and had it partly filled in in my hospital bag. When the rep came round it was clear she was really cross I'd effectively spiked her guns by having the form. Having heard her talking to other women on the ward the CB form was clearly the main point she pushed on to get them to sign up. I didn't bother being quiet when I explained the forms are easily available elsewhere........

No photos with this rep. Seems to be a local thing where they pass your details to a local photographer. After DD's birth, my name had been passed to a photographer who turned out to be SIL's ex grin. I do not use DP's (distinctive) surname so there's no way he could have guessed. Didn't bother using him.

PS I have liked on Facebook.

Juderl Wed 12-Jun-13 14:46:24

Well done to Mumsnet for taking this on. I gave birth to my first child four months ago. About 30 mins after I emerged from the operating theatre, the Bounty rep appeared with her large camera and asked to take a picture of my baby (who was also recovering from a difficult delivery). She did not introduce herself or explain her purpose. I had no wish to see anyone at this intensely private time as I came round from all my meds and bonded with my son. I declined her offer.

To be fair, the rep was very polite and not overly pushy. Nonetheless, she continued to "work" the ward, hoovering up personal details from unquestioning new mothers. I found the whole incident deeply intrusive at a very vulnerable time and kept my curtains shut for the remainder of my time on hospital in case she (or any other pedlars) came back! In short, I thought it was totally inappropriate.

'when my local hospital is currently not letting in the breastfeeding helpers, who could actually be very useful'


Why not?

Not sure, I'm sure I remember being told it was something to do with having too many people on the ward when it's busy, so very relevant to the bounty people being there!!

We're on the case to get back in (I'm newly qualified so yet to go in at all), but it's taking some time

happyberry Wed 12-Jun-13 15:06:51

Ive been a mum for almost 3 years now and this is the first time ive registered with mumsnet, I feel so strongly about this campaign! I didnt know who Bounty were until a few months AFTER Id left hospital. I never gave them my information because I was busy with my newborn daughter but my husband did because he thought they were midwives. They were dressed like midwives, never told us who they were and you assume they are nurses because of the security on baby wards. You dont expect strangers, let alone sales reps to be walking around a baby ward!! I only found out because I was getting inundated with junk mail about baby stuff and I was like how on earth do they know ive given birth? I thought the NHS was passing on my personal information. I finally contacted a baby photographer who was spamming me to say how he'd got my details, he said it was from some newmum database which came from a company called Bounty, then it all clicked into place because of the Bounty bag they give you (which is rubbish). I was livid!! as I never give out my personal details. The poor photographer was shocked too because he'd assumed the data he had was legitimate. I complained to Bounty and they just sent an arsy message saying my details have been removed, no apology.

MNBlackpoolandFylde Wed 12-Jun-13 15:16:38

The wright stuff have lifted up on this on their Facebook with their usual half a story for I presume a phone in tommorow.

People are posting they liked the freebies and we should moan about the photographers instead, they aren't realising the photographers are the issue too or that they are part of bounty or their details are sold on.

Thought id mention it as its very one sided in bountys favour at moment .

landofsoapandglory Wed 12-Jun-13 15:25:00

The Bounty rep who visited me when I had DS1 was lovely, not at all pushy and extremely kind. I didn't see one when I had DS2 because he was born on Christmas Eve and we went home on Christmas Day.

You're so right with your "half a story" for anything on the Wright stuff Blackpool - but I'll tune in tomorrow to see if they cover it. They'll probably find several people to sing the praises of the crap Bounty pack, and say they had a cute picture taken of their DC hmm
Even if that were the case - though I defy anyone to sing the praises of the Bounty bag - one nappy and the smallest ever pot of nappy cream !
- It's not the point anyway !!
The point being even if it was OKish for you it wasn't for others, they have no right to be there, and they are not putting your well-being first.
Surely the mother's well-being and interests should be put first in the first few hours and days after giving birth ? - and nothing should compromise that, let alone for such trivial purposes.

musicalfamily Wed 12-Jun-13 15:41:54

I had a really bad experience with my last child and a Bounty rep (my child was born nearly 4 years ago). I was extremely tired and tearful, my DH and the midwife were there with me, to be honest I was so out of it I cannot remember even being able to talk.

She marched in and started asking for detail, DH say it was a bad time, she refused to budge, said "it only takes a few minutes", so he politely told her no thanks and her response was something along the lines of "it's useful information for your baby, you know", in a really aggressive manner and then added something like "but if you are not interested in your baby then just say and I will go". It was terrible.

I didn't complain because by the time we left hospital etc I had forgotten about it, but I thought it was outrageous behaviour. So well done mumsnet, totally support the campaign.

JakeBullet Wed 12-Jun-13 15:43:53

This IS a good campaign but be prepared for the fact that you might be in a minority. As a midwife I always felt the it was n ethical to be allowing Bounty access to new mothers in this way BUT I can tell you that there were many women who wanted and welcomed their "Bounty Pack", to the pont that they felt they had "missed out" if they had not got one. I did several trips to the Mat unit for packs as a Community midwife because women asked for and wanted them.
I suppose what I am saying is that 82% of MNers is not representative of the childbearing population at large.
What I WOULD welcome is much more information for mothers about what Bounty do (information gathering) and what this means in terms of junk mail etc.
I'd also like to see women get far more for their information than a mini pot of Sudocrem (crap anyway IMHO) and one nappy plus a trial size of sensitive washing powder/conditioner. Hold out for better freebies is my advice!

JakeBullet Wed 12-Jun-13 15:47:19

...oh and the Bounty reps I met (although have to admit only half a dozen or so) have all been lovely, and that includes the one I met after DS was born.

Don't forget this campaign will also do them out of a job. Just saying.

I think this is a good campaign but suspect it won't be a popular one. Much better to campaign for better and more freebies in exchange for that info we are giving them wink

the wright stuffs facebook page
Maybe to balance the argument a little...?

meddie Wed 12-Jun-13 15:53:09

I have an issue with non healthcare trained strangers having free access to ward areas and potentially confidential medical information.
They have no right to be pulling curtains back or barging into rooms when mums might be getting examined or are exposed.

Are these people even clued up on infection control or are they going bed to bed touching and handling babies without washing their hands?

I also have an issue with mothers being duped into giving their details over to be sold on for profit and the subsequent spam they receive in exchange for a kickback to a hospital.

petition signed

merrymouse Wed 12-Jun-13 15:58:41

I am thinking that the women who were asking for bounty packs thought they were getting more than a free disposable nappy and some junk mail.

Lavenderloves Wed 12-Jun-13 16:07:57

I had a terrible birth, stricly no visitors and yet the fucking bounty rep was allowed into my room.

Its appalling. I told her leave, had a been less drugged up she would have got a mouth full.

No visitors on someones notes means exactly that!

JakeBullet Wed 12-Jun-13 16:20:39

Quite right merrymouse which is why we should be campaigning for much more wink.

I do think many women want these packs though, however appalling they are. It's that "something for nothing" thing. Funnily enough we debated this as a student midwifery forum twenty years ago. The number of midwives who felt that Bounty SHOULD be allowed in as "I loved having my Bounty pack when my baby was born" was amazing.

I agree with this campaign but am just pointing out that an awful lot of people will not. So perhaps we campaign for better goodies in exchange for our info instead.

10storeylovesong Wed 12-Jun-13 16:22:21

mumof4 have you even read the replies? How dare you tell people to grow up. You clearly live in a fantasy world. I was very much off limits and the bounty "lady" still barged into my private room without knocking or asking permission. And then implied that I did not need the pack as my baby might not make it. I was going through the most traumatic time of my life and did not need that. Thankfully my very sick baby pulled through, but even thinking of her attitude makes me feel sick. And I am not the only horror story.

82% of mumsnetters feel the same way. You are clearly in the minority.

Lavenderloves Wed 12-Jun-13 16:29:37

^^ i agree even my own mother was told not to visit. Yet the bounty wimen came in...

Maybe you need a horredous birth or a sick child to appreciate the horror of such a visit.

A hospital should be a safe place never are you more vulnerable than post birth.

The bounty rep should be duty bound to explain that they wish to sell your details on. As for the negotiating for better freebies omg no.

landofsoapandglory Wed 12-Jun-13 16:30:45

82% of Mumsnetters who took part in the survey don't agree with the Bounty Reps, not 82% of MNetters.

daftywoman Wed 12-Jun-13 16:32:04

I was told Bounty were paid to distribute the Child Benefit forms by my midwife...

daftywoman Wed 12-Jun-13 16:33:58

"The article says that HM Revenue and Customs pays £90,000 a year to Bounty to distribute the forms – even though they are available online."

ChildrensStoriesNet Wed 12-Jun-13 16:42:05

Bounty: Simply very bad practice and no doubt a breach of care and rights given the condition many of us find ourselves in shortly after a birth.

A very good campaign!

HMRC would be better off having the forms given out when babies are registered

HullMum Wed 12-Jun-13 17:01:01

noo if you were talking about people being rude to cold callers on the phone I would agree with you. they are just doing a job.

but when you go in ti someone's private room while they're tired and bleeding with their breasts out and you have no reason to be there.

any response you get is not rude and you should expect it. there really are other more ethical jobs

TheToysAreALIVEITellThee Wed 12-Jun-13 17:15:49

I had a lovely experience with Bounty both times. In fact I was so annoyed that a Bounty rep wasn't on my ward the day after DS2 was born and I wanted the pics done I went and stole one from another ward blush. I very simply ticked the box saying i didn't want their marketing bumf after the initial pack (with all the brill freebies in it) and I haven't heard a peep from them.

I dont deny that some of the reps must be pushy, but I do think the campaign would be better focussed on their practices than banning them altogether, or perhaps campaigning for them to be 'benign' reps ie. people know they are there and can approach them. Banning them altogether just means the ones who want the pics lose out which doesnt seem fair.

mymatemax Wed 12-Jun-13 17:17:16

its been a few yrs I know but tbh the reps at our hospital just came round & handed out a goody bag of freebies.
Thought it was a good idea, 6 months later I went to a shop (maybe boots or mothercare)? & collected a follow on freeby bag!

The freeby sudocream lasted for ages!

chocolatemartini Wed 12-Jun-13 17:18:24

Commercial data collection and advertising has no place in an NHS hospital. Amongst many other objections, it implies a medical approval of all the crap they are promoting.

SuffolkNWhat Wed 12-Jun-13 17:25:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HullMum Wed 12-Jun-13 17:28:53

surely if you want a photo you can ask your partner or your midwife to take a shitty photo. you don't need to disturb others by bringing in unnecessary people in to the Ward. that's not fair.

HullMum Wed 12-Jun-13 17:30:23

it also gives the impression that certain brands are considered better by hcp which is bullshit

TheToysAreALIVEITellThee Wed 12-Jun-13 17:32:56

I wanted a professional pic done, dp can't take a Pic for shite sadly. Took 5 mins and was as much a disturbance to others as having my bloods done and stitches checked every bastard few hours.

A mw friend of mine is supporting, although she says some women kick up a right stink if they don't get their packs hmm

TheAccidentalExhibitionist Wed 12-Jun-13 17:42:37

The bounty rep came into the delivery room moments after I'd given birth and told me to put my legs together. I just couldn't figure out who she was or what she was doing there. She came back later and told me my DS was a right handful because he was crying. A dreadful experience.

It wasn't a professional pic. They aren't professional photographers, except that I suppose they get paid for them so I suppose they are. But they don't make a living out of taking pics anywhere else.

Except that the person checking your bloods and stitches was doing so for a medical reason, in a hospital. What will they think of next?

JakeBullet Wed 12-Jun-13 17:48:30

Horry, as a midwife I know exactly what your friend means.

merrymouse Wed 12-Jun-13 17:54:37

It's like the clock had been turned back 20 years. imagine - the only way to find out about information like benefits is if somebody physically hands you a form and maybe you have already used up all your camera film so you are grateful if somebody takes another picture.

Raaraathenoisybaby Wed 12-Jun-13 17:54:45

I have been busily re tweeting (little pink troll). I refused all bounty items with dd2. I didn't know any better with dd1 though I wish I had.

ActionLog Wed 12-Jun-13 17:56:05

How would a regulator view a firm approaching people in hospital to share with third parties when the patients who have just had major, emotional experiences, are likely to be very tired, may be on a lot of drugs and/or in a lot pain? Would the Financial Conduct Authority (formerly the FSA) or the Financial Ombudsman Service consider it “treating customers fairly” for HSBC to be at a bedside writing down your personal data to share with third parties and try and get sell you products, just because they gave you a leaflet telling people how to claim the state pension/do a tax return and gave you a free pen and post it notes? No of course they wouldn’t and the firm would get flayed alive both by the regulators and the media, even if every representative followed strict procedures, always told the truth, was kept away from those with the worse outcomes etc etc. So if it is not OK for a bank to do it, why the hell would it be OK for Bounty to do it?

Elquota Wed 12-Jun-13 17:56:30

JakeBullet surely it says a lot that those complaining they "missed out" are those who didn't yet realise there's little of use in the pack and didn't have the "pleasure" of meeting the intrusive Bounty rep?

Sadly I think you do have a point Jake. In my last two birthplans (which were a bit controversial so read lots prior to birth) the midwives clocked the 'No visits from Bounty' and they all laughed and said 'But most women love them'.

Doesn't make it ethical or right though.

Why don't Bounty leave application forms in the maternity reception for women who want to get a pack? Face to face sales has no place in a hospital.

But people can still get their packs without them being on the PN ward - they manage fine it for the antenatal packs, and (dont know if its the same in every area) for the other companies (such as emmas diary) packs.

Yes its a load of advertising shite, but so long as it has no links to the Nhs and is not promoted by them over other packs, I have no problems with that. Its the fact that at the moment it is almost seen as part of the nhs that is a problem, the blurring of boundaries that bounty is a private company, especially with the packs handed out by staff in nurse-like uniforms on the PN ward. As has been written above, it implies that the nhs support the companies that are advertising, and even support bounty as a parenting company over emmas diary, netmums or even mumsnet! grin

TheToysAreALIVEITellThee Wed 12-Jun-13 18:17:55

What would people think of them if, as I say, they ate there so people can approach them? Compromise tor those who want the pics etc and for those who dont want to be approached?

NotDead Wed 12-Jun-13 18:44:46

ok..where's the fb page now!??

I wouldn't mind quite as much if they were in the day room, say, for a short period in the morning so you could make an appointment for them to visit you with their camera later on. But they'd need to be very clear that it was a private company, not part of or even endorsed by the NHS, and they couldn't have a monopoly.
I think it is the "captive audience" bit and the fact that women believe the Bounty Lady is part of hospital staff (eg ours wore a white tunic so looked like a HCP) that is particularly awful. A ward shouldn't be a sales environment anyway.

HullMum Wed 12-Jun-13 19:03:57

I'm sure they aren't supposed to be approaching women who've barely delivered the placenta ATM. but they still are.

honestly, it is nice way infringing in someone's rights to not offer a photo service and goody bag

HullMum Wed 12-Jun-13 19:04:34

*it is in no way

loveclouds Wed 12-Jun-13 19:17:30

I have heard read and heard some awful stories about Bounty reps but I have not experienced this. First birth a lady came and asked if I wanred pics, I was delighted to and they took some cute pics, gave me a bag of goodies and I carried on getting more during her first year. Did not feel pressured to buy pics. 2nd baby I refused pics as we then had a digital camera and our own were good enough but took bag and again I do not really have any memory of it so it can't be bad. Third time I had my baby at home so got no bag sad Since this has been in the news most people I know said they did not have a negative experience and have no problem, majority like myself have no real memory of it so I guess the lady was in and out. The bad stories I have only read or heard that happened to someone that someone else knows etc. Maybe my local hospital just have nice Bounty workers ;) But I do agree that the hours after mother gives birth should be undisturbed and nobody should be invading this private space and special time. I think it would be better for Bounty workers to have a desk/space on the ward where they set up each day and interested mums can venture out of their room in their own time and sign up if they want.

JakeBullet Wed 12-Jun-13 19:30:47

I actually think the Bounty packs need to be made available as the antenatal packs are, via Boots etc or even just stored at the local clinic.

I would be happier if the reps perhaps sat in the day room (do these still exist) so that those who want to see the rep can go to see her. Those who cannot get out of bed for whatever reason can then be visited if they wish, a midwife could just ask the mother beforehand.

There is no doubt that some women (okay, a lot of women) DO like the packs and seeing the rep. I personally don't have an issue with Bounty if women want them, I DO have an issue when women have been approached if they have specifically asked not to be.

KatieMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 12-Jun-13 19:30:50

Hi there

Thanks for all the support for the campaign - it's been a busy old day.

We kicked off with BBC 5live very early, JustineMumsnet took the campaign to ITV lunchtime news, and was joined by a Mumsnetter on BBC London this evening.

You can see all the online coverage here.

Thank you to everyone who has tweeted, linked to the campaign on Facebook and generally made a noise.

We sent this letter to the PM, and have also heard back from the Department of Health.

A Department of Health spokesperson said:

"Women should be able to give birth in a safe, comfortable and relaxing environment.

"It is up to local NHS hospitals to decide locally whether to allow Bounty representatives on to their maternity wards. They also have a say about which mums the representatives are allowed to visit and when.

"We do not hold any central contracts with Bounty or have any influence over the conduct of their sales representatives. But as with all hospital visitors, we would expect them to respect the privacy of all women and their families.”

Do let us know what you think of their statement, and we'll keep you posted of any developments tomorrow.

Thanks again, and as it's now wine o'clock wine

working9while5 Wed 12-Jun-13 19:34:48

I wasn't bothered by them but never considered the ethics as I thought they were just samples and never considered the data collection side of things. I do love the photographs blush, it was a much better camera than I owned. I see the issues now though.

Drat, was just about to buy a new one of ds2 as it's coming close to his birthday and I have been hankering after the other pic

The statement is rubbish.

The statement is rubbish.

Passing the buck.

'It is up to individual Authorities whether and to what extent they want to take advantage of vulnerable women. We have no say, nor do we wish to though we have no policies against such abuse of power and trust'.

SuffolkNWhat Wed 12-Jun-13 19:40:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RedToothBrush Wed 12-Jun-13 19:47:50

I am absolutely OVER THE MOON about this. I am so glad to see that Mumsnet took what was said in the original thread seriously, and supported what was done before.

My jaw has been dropping over the fact that this is being covered by the rest of the press. I am so pleased. I didn't think that this would be taken up with such conviction.

Please MNHQ have a few wine. You deserve it.

A Department of Health spokesperson said:

"Women should be able to give birth in a safe, comfortable and relaxing environment.

"It is up to local NHS hospitals to decide locally whether to allow Bounty representatives on to their maternity wards. They also have a say about which mums the representatives are allowed to visit and when.

"We do not hold any central contracts with Bounty or have any influence over the conduct of their sales representatives. But as with all hospital visitors, we would expect them to respect the privacy of all women and their families.”

My question in response to that, and put in the FOI request I put in, is simply, why are hospitals letting ANYONE they don't have influence over on their wards have DIRECT access to patients? Why are they not taking their duty of care to patients seriously?

This is completely unacceptable. No one should have such levels of access. This isn't like a contract cleaner; a contract cleaner does not interact and ask questions of patients. If they are, they simply shouldn't be.

As for comments about 'women loosing out' by a ban. Why can't companies like this have a presence somewhere, in the hospital, where women can come to them rather than the other way round? Perhaps it could be a book in service, if people really want it. The problem with the practice is the unsolicited cold calling of vulnerable people in a situation they are unable to walk away from - not the fact that they are taking photos.

HJBeans Wed 12-Jun-13 19:58:07

Thanks to all that pushed this forward - I completely support the campaign. Expecting my first baby in a few months and already dreading the thought of a salesperson intruding on my family in whatever state we're in after the birth. This simply wouldn't be allowed were the patients in questions emerging from surgery or similar - why do they reckon new mothers are fair game?

I wonder if the D of H fully realised that their statement included the words ...

"We do not ... have any influence over the conduct of their sales representatives"

So, they let people onto maternity wards enabling them to have direct contact with patients (new mothers), and yet have no influence on those people's conduct ?

Have I got that right ? confused hmm wink

fuzzywuzzy Wed 12-Jun-13 20:17:18

Everyone on here does realise that Emmas diary is a rival company to Bounty right and nothing to do with Bounty but a seperate entity?

Bounty is taking the stance that very few mothers complain and they take those complaints seriously, they are of the stance that MNers are clearly articulate and educated women and if the campaign were above board that the mothers would have complained to them but no such thing has happened, they are currently suggesting that MN have their own agenda that they are vying for a larger market share as they are competitiors of Bounty.

Which I think is utter tosh, MN does not get income from corporate membership like Bounty.
Bounty is in competition with MN I know that they want the market MN has ie the type of website users that MN has and Bounty does not.

I know this as I know someone there, and they've been trundling this crap out to me, when I queried why Bounty didn't offer packs in A&E for example there didn't seem to be a reply.

NoForkNKnife Wed 12-Jun-13 20:18:16

I have just commented on the wright stuff Facebook page. Some of the comments on there are ridiculously naive. I can't believe people think the freebies are actually free! Most people are so careful with their personal details nowadays and yet hand them over readily for a bag of crap.

fuzzywuzzy Wed 12-Jun-13 20:18:42

What I mean is everyone who loved/hated Emmas diary did not love Bounty that was a different company entirely

The D of H is passing the buck with that statement.

It's basically meaning hospitals have people on maternity wards who are not accountable to the hospital in any way for their behaviour.

So whatever Bounty say about their code of conduct, on a day to day basis, their reps are on wards with no checks on their behaviour.

The only way short of a ban this can be resolved is to have the reps located where mothers go to them and not the other way around. And that the contracts with the hospitals for this include a contractual version of the code of conduct that can be enforced.

SuffolkNWhat Wed 12-Jun-13 20:23:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Elquota Wed 12-Jun-13 20:24:31

"It is up to local NHS hospitals to decide locally whether to allow Bounty representatives on to their maternity wards."

Unfortunately, it seems the hospitals can't be trusted to make the correct decision. They put money ahead of the wishes of new mothers who don't want intrusive sales reps barging in when they're trying to get to know their new baby.

"But as with all hospital visitors, we would expect them to respect the privacy of all women and their families.”

Clearly this expectation isn't being met, so can something therefore be done?

Elquota Wed 12-Jun-13 20:26:29

MN competitors?

I don't recall anyone from MN bursting into the cubicle at the maternity ward, making out I had to give personal details and getting huffy if I didn't do what they wanted!

RedToothBrush Wed 12-Jun-13 20:28:29

NoFork - if the comments on the Wright stuffs Facebook page say that, that's brilliant! Because it illustrates exactly the fact that people are unaware of the marketing behind it and the fact that their personal data is being sold.

fuzzywuzzy Wed 12-Jun-13 20:30:03

Why can't they be in the foyer with the other shops/people selling stuff and the mothers who want a Bounty pack can take one on the way out?

And the hospitals retain the financial contribution from Bounty?

RedToothBrush Wed 12-Jun-13 20:30:44

Hospitals have a duty of care to ensure the privacy of patients. If this isn't being done - and our survey says uhuh - then why aren't the DoH stepping in to enforce this?

Its very clear in guidelines about the financial abuse of vulnerable patients...

fuzzywuzzy Wed 12-Jun-13 20:33:59

Elquoa EXACTLY, that's what I said, the market is utterly different, Bounty pushes their packs which contain crap from their paying members who are large corporate companies, ie Johnson & Johnson, Procter and Gamble, etcetcetc.

Last year I was asked what would make me go to Bounty instead of MN, I said I wouldn't, I'd used the Bounty website when I'd had my first child (because of the pack) and I didn't like it at all so haven't used it and dont want to.

Bounty wants to attract the website traffic that MN does. They are in competition with MN not the other way round as far as I can see.

AnnaAsh Wed 12-Jun-13 20:37:29

So so pleased to see this campaign. I felt my privacy was totally violated by a Bounty rep after the birth of DD1. When she knocked on the door I assumed she was an NHS professional so welcomed her in. At the time I was feeling traumatised after a very difficult labour and still high on pethadene. I was feeling extremely vulnerable and very upset when I realised this was actually a commercial rep wanting my personal details rather than to attend me and my daughter. I don't think they should be allowed to approach women so soon after childbirth which are very precious and emotional hours - not a time for pushy commercial reps to intrude.

EglantinePrice Wed 12-Jun-13 20:44:30

I am just astonished that at a time when partners/siblings are not allowed on the ward (and I appreciate this is to maintain privacy and allow exhausted women to rest), totally unsolicited strangers are permitted free access. WTF?

I guess the people who 'kick off' if they don't get their bounty bag, do so because they perceive it has a great value.

Of course this will have a lot to do with the fact that it is being given out on the PN ward of an NHS hospital and therefore appears 'official' or 'recommended' which of course it isn't.

jellybeans Wed 12-Jun-13 20:46:36

I liked the Bounty stuff too. All 5 of my DC had the photo and I appreciated the packs. Didn't find them pushy. Would have been gutted to have a newborn pic with some but not all DC! (I was in hospital a while each time and my own pics were not as nice). Lots of my friends like them too and had good experiences with the 'Bounty woman'.

stiffstink Wed 12-Jun-13 20:54:20

I was in hospital with DS for three days, in a private room for 2 days. . I'd been aware of Bounty from MN and agreed to the photos (crap) on the first day, knowing that I had 14 days to return them.

BIL is a pro photographer, awardwinning I might add. The Bounty photo didn't even look like my DS and they were charging FORTY NINE QUID for a blurry photo. Crapola!

That isn't my main gripe though. I was put in a private room so that I could noisily express milk every three hours and not wake other mums. There would be a knock on the door and I'd say come in, only for the Bounty Woman to traipse in, sometimes two or three times a day, even though she'd already got the photo and my detail
I saw more of her than anyone else. She saw my breasts more than anyone else. co

Could she not just fuck off and writedown "Room 1, done" instead of bugging me when I have my norks hooked up to the dairy pump in my private room?

Its so personal, I can't imagine them allowing this in, say, a fertility clinic.

EmpressOfTheSevenOceans Wed 12-Jun-13 21:14:15

I've just been to look at the Bounty forums & they're much quieter than MN. As for their content... it doesn't interest me. Partly because DD is 12 but I don't think it would have interested me when she was younger either.

But if it did, then why on earth should being an MNer stop me using it? There's no one-parenting-site-only rule, there are people who use MN and Netmums perfectly happily & I don't see MN kicking them off. Suggesting that we're after Bounty's traffic is bollocks.

I agree with others who've suggested that the Bounty rep should be in the day room & mums should be able to come to her if they choose.

Elquota Wed 12-Jun-13 21:16:37

I can't imagine reps being allowed onto a post-vasectomy ward either.

Justine202 Wed 12-Jun-13 21:23:35

Does anyone else remember the case of the little girl that got snatched from a maternity ward (Alex I think her name was), it was a long time ago and I am sadly old enough to remember.

My point though, is that as a new mum we all assume everyone on a postnatal ward is supposed to be there. What if someone faked their way in on a bounty pass?

Xenia Wed 12-Jun-13 21:26:54

I would like to see them removed. Some of the hospitals make quite a bit of money, say £100,000 a year (??) from their exclusive contracts with Bounty though and others refuse ever to let them in on moral grounds. So it all depends if the particular hospital is tempted by the filthy lucre and commercialism.

soimpressed Wed 12-Jun-13 21:35:04

I was really happy to read in the paper that Mumsnet was campaigning about this. When I had my first baby I had no idea who the Bounty people were and thought it was something to do with the hospital. I remember feeling really resentful when I left hospital as I'm normally really careful about who I give personal info to. I was only in hospital for one night and when they came round I was in no fit state to understand what was happening.

DeepRedBetty Wed 12-Jun-13 22:03:37

Xenia grin Most hospitals seem to be tempted by the filthy lucre and commercialism. Well, certainly the filthy lucre anyway. Anyone been to an NHS hospital recently with a free or even reasonably priced car park or a bedside phone/tv package for under £3 a day with calls costing less than 50 p a minute - in or out?

Thought not.

IsThisAGoodIdea Wed 12-Jun-13 22:13:06

I had a bag of Bounty stuff left at the end of my bed after DS was born. I didn't see anyone so didn't give any details out. Am I being very naive? Did they use the clipboard at the end of the bed to get info?

I love the idea of the bounty pack

I love a few freebies.
better freebies and more of them.would begreat.

I don't love the bounty rep idea.
I wasn't even supposed tobe in hospital, so there I was all iron-lacking and weak.
she came inn without asking. luckily because of mn, I knew who she was, so was prepared.
I let her take pictures of dd, but couldn't order any because the only one she looked good in was a shit one with a random rabbit and I hate it. I even told her not to put the rabbit in the shot.

yes she was nice, but there's no place for them on the Ward.
let them have appointments or an open slot in the dayroom or even in aspecial office but not visiting each bed.

they could quite easily put a bounty pack on each bed in preparation for the mum's arrival on the ward.

Talkinpeace Wed 12-Jun-13 22:19:30

Up thread somebody mentioned that the NHS gets £2.3 million from Bounty.

How much does it cost the NHS to treat the gastric infections and allergies in children who are discouraged from breast feeding by the freebie powdered milk and marketing bumph in the post natal ward.

DD is 15 but I found it offensive even then.

Post natal wards are NO place for sales reps.

emsyj Wed 12-Jun-13 22:25:44

I haven't read every comment so I don't know if this has been mentioned before, but has anyone looked at whether it is actually a breach of the Data Protection Act to allow Bounty reps onto the ward? They are not medical staff, but they are allowed to walk around the ward and see women who have just given birth: surely this is 'sensitive personal data' that the hospital should be protecting???

I imagine if I rang my local maternity unit and asked if my (currently heavily pregnant) friend was there and if she'd had her baby (and if so whether it was a vaginal or caesarean delivery and if she'd had a boy or a girl etc etc) they would, quite rightly, tell me that I wasn't entitled to know that information without her consent. They would presumably (for patient confidentiality) tell me absolutely nothing, not even confirming if she was on the ward. WHY are Bounty allowed access to this information?

RedToothBrush Wed 12-Jun-13 22:45:59

emsyj I've mentioned it before. When I very briefly looked into it, I think there is a case to be answered - I got the impression that hospitals have a duty of care to patients in their care to protect their privacy under law; which could include giving over personal information under certain circumstances but without having proper legal knowledge I'm not 100% sure about it, and in any case, even if that was the case it would probably require a test case to set legal precedent.

The main problem with that, is that women who have just given birth, generally have other priorities rather than set themselves up to be part of a test case. This is part of the problem of the entire situation; women who are in this situation who would have the best cases would be the most vulnerable and almost certainly simply wouldn't have the motivation to act for change. Which of course makes them the prefect prey for commercial exploitation of this type.

The whole thing is something of a catch 22. Which is why it needs/needed someone like MN to get behind a campaign to push this on behalf of women.

The most curious thing about the whole thing is the fact that Bounty still have the nerve to say they don't get many complaints - in the face of an ever increasing number of pretty outrageous anecdotes posted by various women in response to threads, news articles and this very campaign.

Do they really expect us all to believe that ALL these women are making it up?

And do they really think that any of these stories would exist if they were banned from wards?

Daisy299 Wed 12-Jun-13 22:54:09

Thank you, Mumsnet.

My first baby is due in September and I am dreading dealing with these people.

I have no idea what to expect from the experience, but the last thing I need is more anxiety about whether the f-cking Bounty woman will pop her head round the curtain while I'm an emotional wreck/ bleeding/ on strong painkillers/ trying to sleep/ etc.

Why SHOULD these people have this access?

To all those going on about bags - this isn't about the bags. The bags can be left behind, recycled, chucked etc. Nobody cares about the bloody bags!

This is about a marketing rep having access to a vulnerable NHS patient. It's about a commercial company having exclusive access to a hospital ward. It's about families not being allowed to visit, yet marketing reps, possibly dressed very much like nurses, being allowed free access whenever they want it.

Shared on FB, and thanks again.

PS. Mumof4granof1 - if your attitude is typical of Bounty reps, I'm sure the majority of criticism on this post is thoroughly justified.

ClosedAuraOpenMind Wed 12-Jun-13 23:40:12

when I had DD bounty rep was clearly only interested in taking pics so she could flog them to me......DH is a professional photographers so he could have done a better job. but DD had to be transferred to another hospital when 4 hrs old as she needed intensive care and surgery. DH had gone with her, so I was on my own a few hours after an emcs. bounty woman came in and asked where my baby was, told her she was poorly and had been taken to another hospital. so she chatted away then asked me 'are you sure your baby isn't here?' WTF
soooo glad to see someone has taken this up

mummyplonk Wed 12-Jun-13 23:50:00

I've had two babies, both of the Bounty Ladies that saw me were actually nice and non intrusive I have been with mumsnet for 10 years and usually go with the masses. But I know I am not in the standard Mumsnet Demo's.After I had my first baby was under no illusion that I would get offered vouchers etc, she asked me and I said that's fine. I think this campaign will really affect low income, single and young mums who are happy with money off vouchers. I had a few E mails then unsubscribed then heard nothing.

ICBINEG Wed 12-Jun-13 23:51:12

Having watched a rep sell photos totalling 45 quid to someone in the bed opposite who spent the rest of her time on the ward trying to work out if they could afford the bus fare to get home, I desperately feel these people should not be allowed onto maternity wards.

They spoke to me as I was recovering from a general anaesthetic, while I was struggling to start BFing and earlier in the morning than my husband was allowed in to help me.

Totally fucking ridiculous.

IsThisAGoodIdea Thu 13-Jun-13 00:04:26

Daisy229, here's what you say if a rep does show up:

"No, thank you. Goodbye."

I too am expecting in September. It's really not worth getting worked up over.

ICBINEG Thu 13-Jun-13 00:10:23

Well nothings worth getting worked up over...

but I do think that people blundering in hassling women who might have been separated from or even lost their babies is something worth preventing.

HullMum Thu 13-Jun-13 00:30:54

^ I think this campaign will really affect low income, single and young mums who are happy with money off vouchers. I had a few E mails then unsubscribed then heard nothing.^

mummyplonk oh it definitely will because right now they are being told that these (high end, over priced) products are practically NHS recommended. And they are getting hooked on the products with vouchers that will eventually stop. If right away they start on supermarket own brand realize they are not an inferior product they will save LOADS.

Tubemole1 Thu 13-Jun-13 00:58:17

I think my dh had told a Bounty rep to F* off! I was recovering from a cs at the time. But I got my bounty bag later from Boots. Most of it was put in the recycling bin.

They shouldn't be allowed to force you to hand over your details, and certainly not force you to have photos done. Its taking advantage of women last their most vulnerable.

Elquota Thu 13-Jun-13 01:07:33

"No, thank you. Goodbye."

If only that was enough to get rid of them! Oh no, they'll be back again, they'll swoosh that curtain back and roll their eyes when you decline again.

courgetteDOTcom Thu 13-Jun-13 04:20:55

no, the nhs gets 2.2 million from bounty and £90k from the govt. and in, that's how much the govt pay bounty to distribute benefit forms. me no cynic

RedToothBrush Thu 13-Jun-13 07:03:29

I think this campaign will really affect low income, single and young mums who are happy with money off vouchers.

Do you know how much your personal information is worth to companies and how much Bounty make off them. There is no reason why they could not continue to have Bounty pack and reps - the thing is they need to be kept off post natal wards - in theory they could have a place elsewhere within a hospital environment which meant low income mothers could still enjoy the benefits. The key to this is removing the aggressive sales practises which include collecting personal information as this is a commercial practice and making Bounty comply fully with Trading Standards, which I do not believe they do, if they operate by selling bed to bed.

Be under no illusions, if the real strength of Bounty is the fact they go bed to bed and they would loose money if they couldn't do this, then that tells you all you need to know about aggressive sales practices.

Personally, I actually believe that the market is lucrative enough for Bounty for them to continue off ward. The NHS should actually wake up and realise that they are in control of this situation and they can dictate the terms on which Bounty operate and Bounty still would probably cough up exactly the same money to still offer packs and a book in service. I do not believe that the NHS and patient need loose out on money from this campaign. They just need to smarten up and realise just how much money is being made by commercial companies.

musicalfamily Thu 13-Jun-13 07:42:10

"No, thank you. Goodbye."

It's not as easy as that. I have tried that and that when the trouble has begun. They were rude, had to be persuaded to actually leave and the midwife present rolled her eyes but didn't actually say anything, making me feel even worse.

It's not exactly like you can walk away is it. And it is the principle that is all wrong. Marketing on the wards = wrong. They can always set up a stand in the foyer and new mums who want it can pick up their pack on their way out.

HJBeans Thu 13-Jun-13 08:28:43

Could MN produce some sort of "No thank you, goodbye" badges to affix to the curtains to make it clear that if they approach you they are 1) wasting their time and 2) doing so against your wishes?

If there are some people who value this 'service', surely it would be easy enough for this preference to be stated on birth plans and visits allowed or not accordingly? I'm suspecting if anyone else I didn't want to visit showed up expecting access to me in the hours after birth, I'd be able to ask that they be removed?

NoForkNKnife Thu 13-Jun-13 09:32:17

This story has been picked up by The Wright Stuff this morning.

ActionLog Thu 13-Jun-13 09:42:00

Mumsnet - you might want to contact the information commissioner (regulator of data protection matters) to discuss whether they feel there are steps they should take. Would include:

(a) Bounty being given access to personal data and in some cases sensitive personal data (a class that gets higher protection) due to their access to the wards
(b) collection of data from women not always in a position to give informed consent
(c) not following requirements eg saying how data collected will be used and shared
(d) inappropriate behaviour eg where reps have said can't get the child benefit forms without giving the your data

Xenia Thu 13-Jun-13 09:47:21

The statement is correct that each hospital takes a decision about whether it will have (a) exclusive contracts with Bounty and not let its competitors in(b) if it will let all of them in ( c) if it will let none in. The hospitals are paid by the companies like Bounty for the access. Some allow them in. Some don't.

My view is that none of them should be allowed in as women are vulnerable after they have given birth and I would rather the hospital had worse provision and funding and be shorter staffed than have the money and allow the Bounty etc people in. Not everyone would be of the same view.

I never encountered a rep. personally as each birth was either at home or a "six hour transfer" even for the first birth so I was never in long enough to see any reps.

I like the idea of stickers. If a ban is not possible. Mothers could put them on their hospital bed saying they want no photos or commercial gifts or visits.

I think there is or was a list out there of which hospitals allow reps in and which don't. It is certainly not all hospitals by any means. Plenty have taken the view many do on mumsnet that they can manage without the money and keep representatives off wards.

MNBlackpoolandFylde Thu 13-Jun-13 09:49:42

I do not think it will affect low income mums at all.
When I had dd my now exh had walked out of his job a few weeks before hmm and I had been in and out of hospital for months because of serious complications.

I did not use any of those vouchers because even with money off the supermarkets own ones were much cheaper.

MNBlackpoolandFylde Thu 13-Jun-13 09:50:48

Sorry pressed post to soon, what I mean is it will only affect those who believe they have to have the brand names.

OceanSeas Thu 13-Jun-13 10:30:19

Going to be discussed on the wright stuff in a minute. There open line was "I don't know why new mums would complain about getting free stuff"

NoForkNKnife Thu 13-Jun-13 10:34:49

Yes, I was fuming about that too. I made sure I made my point on the fb page last night. Most were positive naive comments.
I feel so strongly about this. Even the first time after they just kept coming back to push the photos. The second time when she came in when baby was in the NICU was really distressing. I can't understand the 'for' argument. Are you really that insensitive?

Oh, what a surprisingly leading question to go to the ad-break not angry

OceanSeas Thu 13-Jun-13 10:48:31

"What kind of ungrateful hussy would complain about fee staff with their greedy bits" bloody hell!!!

MrsKwazii Thu 13-Jun-13 10:48:44

I think this is a great campaign, maternity wards are a place for you to recover from birth, not get the hard sell. I think MN is being very careful to state that it's just the wards they should not be allowed on, not stopping the rest of their activities in places and times when new parents are less vulnerable. Like others have said, you don't get salespeople on other wards, so why the exception here?

Would like to see a DWP statement on child benefit forms. Surely there can be some on each maternity ward or given out when you register your baby's birth. Also, I'd expect them to be pushing online registration more now, especially as it's no longer a universal benefit.

OceanSeas Thu 13-Jun-13 10:49:03

Sorry auto correct gone wrong!

OceanSeas Thu 13-Jun-13 10:49:51

The wright stuff have told viewers than new mums need these packs to claim child benefit! Wrong information to give to the nation

OceanSeas Thu 13-Jun-13 10:53:11

"Are you one of these ungrateful women" to first caller on the phone

NoForkNKnife Thu 13-Jun-13 10:57:14

Was a very short feature and apparently had an awful lot of callers. I actually think it went pretty well. I was hoping for at least one story like mine with a baby in NICU, but the panel mostly seemed to agree with the campaign.

ICBINEG Thu 13-Jun-13 10:57:57

ocean NO! they sold the benefit claim form lie?

Are you fucking with me?!?!?!!?

ohforfoxsake Thu 13-Jun-13 10:59:00

I had one hospital birth, 11 years ago, and the Bounty rep made no impact on me whatsoever. I think my community midwife brought me the packs for the next 3 (HBs).

I am wondering whether there has been a change to the Bounty culture within the organisation over the last decade - giving it much more of a hard sell. There were no photos or prints done with DS1. Just dropped the bag, said hello and that was that. Very unobtrusive. The most useful thing is having the CB form given to me. I don't know when I'd have made it to the local DSS office to pick one up. It would be helpful if community midwives dropped them off. Its the only thing necessary and helpful from all this. (I don't know if you can apply online for CB which would make that irrelevant too).

NoForkNKnife Thu 13-Jun-13 11:00:30

No-they made it quite clear the CB forms claim by bounty was false. And a caller bought it up.

ICBINEG Thu 13-Jun-13 11:01:15


I was vey surprised that all three of the panel seemed to agree! Of course MW was a twat about it, but hey, whats new there...

Actually I havent mentioned yet, my bounty rep was fine, but I was made to feel rather scabby by the other mums shock that I didnt want my pfbs photos taken sad
And I saw both my bounty reps within four hours of giving birth, unlike both of the people MW talked to...

Emma's Diary is different though, it's a website that you choose to sign up for. It isn't mentioned by MW at any stage and I only heard it existed on here. Bounty is pushed on you as you are given a pack on your first appointment with all the MW contact details already on it.

Different here (south wales), bounty folder and pack1 and emmas diary voucher were given at 12w scan. Emmas diary postnatal voucher (and ctc info) was given with birth cert at registry office

I've also never gotten the bounty 'overnight essentials' ha labour pack until the PN ward.

Xenia Thu 13-Jun-13 11:22:48

Free is never really free. If you want to have it apply for it before birth. If you don't want it because you know most of the pushed products tend not always be that great or you don't like the commercialism then don't apply and don't get it (and don't allow them into NHS hospitals).

Vouchers are fine - you can put them in the bin if you want. It is coming into a hospital at all that I object to.

youaintallthat Thu 13-Jun-13 11:28:30

I never had a problem with my bounty rep to be honest. She came to see me after my lo was born and asked if I wanted a photo or to give details. I happily gave details but didn't want a photo the bounty rep was fine with this and I did not feel pressured to give details / have photos at all. I was never told that I had to give details for child benefit. To be honest my midwife was such a grumpy cow person the happy smiling bounty rep was a breath of fresh air. I know when I was on the ward quite a few mms were excited for the bounty rep coming as they wanted a photo so I don't think it's right to completely stop bounty reps. However it would make more sense /save time for the bounty reps to hold a daily talk in the post natal day room. That way everyone can choose whether they want to attend or not an no moher has a decision enforced on them by others. It should be all about choice and informed consent IMO. I also think that the money raised by this service should go directly into the maternity fund too in order to improve services rather than into a generic hospital fun where the money will disappear never to be seen again. I know that some people have had bad experiences and there are some rogue reps out there as there are in any profession - even midwives who try an pressure you more so in those first few fragile hours. But I do think the service should remain albeit a bit more restricted for those who want it

I didn't get an overnight essentials pack.

Do I need one of those?

OceanSeas Thu 13-Jun-13 12:38:26

ICEBERG, he did say that, then they changed it after one of the callers brought it up, so all good!

MNBlackpoolandFylde Thu 13-Jun-13 12:58:21

Have you seen what they get in Finland?
I full box of sleepsuits, changing mats etc?


youaintallthat Thu 13-Jun-13 13:01:55

I'd let the bounty reps take photos of me in labour for the pack they get in Finland lol

dipeploe Thu 13-Jun-13 13:45:30

Apart from handing out crap freebies they also hand out crap advice, try this sample:

Bounty advice on appliance cords: "tuck them under carpets"

London Fire Brigade advice: "Don't run leads or cables under carpets or rugs – you won't be able to see if they become damaged."

Bounty is one seriously unprofessional outfit!

Daisy299 Thu 13-Jun-13 14:03:30

IsThisAGoodIdea -

Why is it my responsibility to have to prepare myself for a visit from Bounty?

While I am in hospital, I am there to be cared for by medical staff. I am not there to provide a captive audience for a profit making company.

If Bounty want to set up a stall, fine. But opening curtains during feeds? Interrupting babies' sleep? Approaching women who are still drugged up? No.

HairyWorm Thu 13-Jun-13 15:01:10

Didn't Terry Christian have a bit of a rant about the reps using the word shisters how do you spell it?

Has anyone used the `No Bounty` on their birthplan found it works?

The loss of privacy on a ward when you're tired, half dressed, leaky, sore and emotional is bad enough, but I'd like to think that I was being protected and secure while I get myself together. I do not like being served up as a pliable soft touch for a marketing company just because they pay for access to me when I'm in a vulnerable state.

I think the boundaries are blurred by the first bag being handed over by the midwife. I'm pretty sceptical about marketing stuff but I genuinely thought that there would be info in the second pack that I would need, (well, why else would the MW tell me about collecting them), but luckily found the MN thread first.

I totally get that some people want the bags of crap bags and photos but approaching new mums so soon after birth is totally unacceptable. Give the reps a space in the day room or leave contact forms by the beds.

For the record I'm a big girl and totally capable of standing up for myself in a normal situation, but the early stages post birth are not normal.

talking of crap advice - we got the 6months to toddler years "magazine" (which says week-by-week guide on the front, but is month-by-month inside), and it advocates purees etc primarily , even though the current NHS guidelines prefer BLW and finger foods.

SuffolkNWhat Thu 13-Jun-13 16:04:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

wanderingcloud Thu 13-Jun-13 16:10:17

I gave birth 9 weeks ago and was thoroughly pestered by the lovely bounty lady. She wasn't rude or aggressive but she was very persistent. When you're tired, torn and bleeding your tolerance for being pestered is low. And she kept on coming back, she interrupted when I was finally speaking to a HCP, she came back when my OH had bought my eldest in, when I was trying to breastfeed... over and over. She wore me down and I gave in, as others have said if I had been more with it I wouldn't have. Then to top it off she deleted the 1 decent photo she took! And I was told repeatedly by midwives and reps that the bounty pack "contained the forms to claim CB" I thought it was odd that was the only way to get them but didn't question it, I was positively paranoid we would lose the forms and not be able to claim it! Ultimately though I'm most annoyed that the father of my baby isn't allowed on the ward because he disturbs other mothers but a sales rep is allowed to walk around disturbing everyone. Seemingly a lot of women want the reps there so we all have to put up with them. I want my OH to be there, so everyone should put up with him, right? And he wouldn't even be swanning around interrupting your conversations and selling on your personal details wink

thesecretmusicteacher Thu 13-Jun-13 16:23:08

good campaign chaps. Kick'em out.

MrsJamin Thu 13-Jun-13 16:29:56

Can I remind everyone to make this local. I have raised this with my local hospital's patient maternity committee, and they are going to raise this at their next meeting. I believe this change might only happen at a local not national level.

Mouseface Thu 13-Jun-13 16:50:02


When DS was born with Complex Special Needs, he was whisked out of my arms and rushed off to SCBU, I screamed at DH to go with him and to not leave his side whilst I was left to get cleaned up, showered, dressed alone and crying, confused and upset as to what had just happened.

I found all of my new baby's outfit and belongings that I had laid out, and my own personal possessions had been stuffed into a bag, and put in a side room on my return to the maternity ward after showering.

All I knew was that my baby had serious complications (non of which we knew about pre birth) and was in SCBU, hopefully with DH. I sat on my bed, crying and shaking until a Midwife came to get me and wheel me round to SCBU. I couldn't stay, I couldn't bear seeing him. But I forced myself to, with DH and refused to leave his side, day in day out, unless expressing BM for him.

The first time the Bounty rep came (a day after I had given birth I think) she asked where my baby was. Cheery as you like. I told her. She said of, what a 'shame', and that she'd come back at a 'more convenient time'........

She came back around lunch that day and left a pack on my bed. I was of course in SCBU with Nemo (our DS's Nick Name, our little fighter, our survivor) until gone midnight every day, regardless of the fact that I'm disabled and was on crutches, needed to rest etc as you do! I refused to leave his incubator. Refused.

Anyway, I was ordered (in the nicest possible way) to go and eat something once DH arrived after taking DD to school. I did only to find the said rep waiting, hovering, outside of my room. The truly wonderful midwives had left me some tea and toast because I'd missed the breakfast run as per but I couldn't carry anything, being on crutches......

I was starving, sleep deprived, in pain and emotionally drained and I arrived to a sales pitch like no other. This woman gave Everest Windows a run for their money!

I kindly explained my situation which seemed to fuel her desire to get me to agree to have photo's even more..... almost 'just in case the worst should happen....' I could hear the tone in her voice. She was politely shown the door.

If they are going to be allowed onto Maternity wards, then they should be TOLD about mothers like me, or who have lost their babies. They should be TOLD to leave us alone and maybe just to leave the info packs with contact details so that WE can decide for ourselves in time, if we want photos taken.

I was appalled and so very upset. The packs were no good to us either as Nemo was tube fed (and still is) from the start.

The packs are so boring and generic.

Why not have a SN pack? With helpful contact numbers in? Why not have specialist Bounty Reps, if they insist on being there, who can put parents in touch with others who are like them?

During Nemo's stay, he was eventually moved into a room with another little boy who also had 3 of the conditions that he did. We learnt so much from his parents, we felt so relieved to no longer just be two people who were given 'that look' as we went past the normal maternity ward.

I also didn't read the small print (where it existed) which told the new parents that all of your details would be passed onto various companies!

I know that the wards are chaos and so very busy but surely, someone could have informed the Reps that in our case, maybe it would have been better to let us contact them should we want to have pictures taken?

Sorry for the epic post, I think that they should be banned from the wards and maybe have a room that they can use for parents to go and see them in? Or be in the communal room that's on most wards but under strict instruction NOT to approach mums/dads? Times and dates that they'll be someone there for those who DO want Bounty photos etc?

cardamomginger Thu 13-Jun-13 17:14:22

I didn't have any particularly bad experience with the Bounty Lady when DD and I were on the post natal ward. She visited, accepted that I didn;t want to give her my details and just left me the CB forms. I was still pissed off that my NO VISITS FROM THE BOUNTY LADY PLEASE!!! (caps and bold in original) on the birth plan had been ignored.

A few posters have mentioned the packs you get from the MW at your booking in. I tried to refuse mine, but accepted it when the MW said that they got £1 for each one they handed out. I felt like I'd be doing the NHS out of much needed dosh if I refused the sodding thing.

These people have no place in a ward setting.

Good point MrsJamin. I have a consultant A/N clinic appt next week and it will be on my list.

Elquota Thu 13-Jun-13 17:33:25

Why should Bounty be the default paid photographer in any case? They don't know how to take good professional photos.

IsThisAGoodIdea Thu 13-Jun-13 17:39:03

I agree with you Daisy299, with all you have said. I would give them short shrift too.

I was just saying it's really not something to dread. Or "prepare yourself" for. As with any other irritating marketing ploy, be it charity muggers, cold callers or people asking you to a do a survey in the just say no and that's it. As if they come round again, you say it again.

I didn't see one at all actually, a bag was left by my bed though.

I do absolutely think it should be banned, I'm just saying you need a sense of perspective about it.

Raaraathenoisybaby Thu 13-Jun-13 17:41:30

Mouse face that's ducking horrendous. I noticed with dd2 there were no bounty folk on the trans care ward. It's almost a shame as I was gunning for a fight!
Nemo sounds adorable though grin

mumofoneandonebakingnicely Thu 13-Jun-13 17:44:45

I completely disagree with this sort of thing. I work very hard to avoid data capture and marketing as my partner and are intelligent enough to decide which services we require and when.

I think it highly unethical to approach parents post birth in order to sell anything and as for the packs they really are neither use nor ornament IMOH. I limit who has access to our sons data and to have somebody want this when they are hours old is disgusting.

I think as others have mentioned there is a data protection issue here as a patients details are easy accessible via their charts, there must also be a security issue as PN wards are secure for a reason. Surely anybody can easily "fake" access as a Bounty rep.

Like so many of these things it comes down to money and the NHS will not want to ban this practice as it brings in money. Xxx

I think someone needs to think afresh about what sort of culture would be good on a post-natal ward. If you asked, people would probably say they'd like it to feel safe, supportive, warm and friendly.

By allowing commercial reps to engage in direct marketing and data collection I think you damage the possibilities for the development of a much more supportive and friendly community/ culture on maternity wards.

I think their effect is much more pernicious than might at first appear.

I would have liked more friendly counseling style support from someone in the hours after the birth. Many women appreciate support with establishing breastfeeding.

I felt there was no-one to talk to (except when DH was allowed in)

I think we need to get rid of the Bounty reps and replace them with other much more supportive, non-commercial volunteers or professionals.

RedToothBrush Thu 13-Jun-13 19:04:38

A few posters have mentioned the packs you get from the MW at your booking in. I tried to refuse mine, but accepted it when the MW said that they got £1 for each one they handed out. I felt like I'd be doing the NHS out of much needed dosh if I refused the sodding thing.

You should have offered her two quid to shove it where the sun doesn't shine. Then reported her.

A midwife is completely compromised if she puts any pressure on you to take a pack. You said no. Thats a complete sentence. If she doesn't respect that, that what does she think that does to trust between patient and carer? She is completely compromised and isn't putting your feelings and beliefs before a commercial company. It doesn't exactly build a good relationship or give a good impression from the word go. Of course if they have this attitude at booking in, just how far are they prepared to turn a blind eye for eye extra quid from Bounty? Are they going to listen to you when you are giving birth? Its totally and utterly unethical and it damages the profession and the relationship with patients; they have become reps for Bounty themselves. It just highlights the real extent of the conflict of interest going on here.

Do they not realise what they are really doing?

The thing is there does seem to be plenty of rules and regulations in existence that the practise is in conflict with; so it doesn't actually matter what the NHS wants. If you can hit them with the right one in the right way. They have legal obligations to patients which I believe they are totally failing in ensuring. This can be changed as the framework to do it is there. The big thing is simply proving it.

LineRunner Thu 13-Jun-13 19:11:38

My DS was premature and we were hassled to have a photo done. She kept shaking a rattle in his tiny face to make him open his eyes. No-one stopped her.

I bet if I'd been doing it the midwives would have stopped me.

Bounty and the whole set up is disgusting.

In case this hasn't already been linked to:

Child benefit claim form

Mouseface Thu 13-Jun-13 19:44:19

sad LineRunner - it's shit isn't it? You have enough to deal with when your baby is born, without a baby who has additional needs or complications.

Big hugs to you xxx

Red - I'm with you on the giving her £2 and telling her to shove the Bounty pack. I had no idea that MWs get PAID FFS to give these things out. shock

I asked for mine with DD (15yrs ago) as I was excited to be getting some info, vouchers, samples etc. I had no idea what was behind it all until I started to get 'offers' through the post for everything under the sun, Companies calling me asking how DD was...... hmm I'd naively filled all the paperwork out.

I'm sorry and shocked to hear how difficult your experience with the Bounty lady was Mouse sad

I think you're much too generous in your recommendations regarding Bounty - let's get rid of them, at least from the wards.

Maybe a small stall in the foyer on the way out - if they're very lucky (and do great photos, and have lots of decent goodies in the goody bag)
Then I might consider stopping by on my way out and giving them our valuable details - but probably not. Don't hold your breath !

ladymalfoy Thu 13-Jun-13 20:22:55

They just don't get it. We'll let them harass new mums because the company pay for stuff.

Mouseface Thu 13-Jun-13 21:51:06

Hey Juggs smile x

<squidges for good measure>

It is very generous of me, I guess that someone should be there for taking good quality, genuine photo's, should the family want them? And with that said, maybe new parents should be able to bring their own photographer into the ward? They let 'family' in so why not a photographer as long as the photos were done in a controlled environment?

So no other children/babies could be photo'd? I know that vouchers off food, creams etc are great and a lovely thing, who doesn't like free samples? Money off? BUT AT WHAT COST?

I was alone that day when she turned up - good job as I feel DH may have helped her find the door without the aid of the door release button!

RedToothBrush Thu 13-Jun-13 22:04:40

Change Petition is nearly up to 13,000 signatures.

The comments for it are 'enlightening'.

I gave birth 11 weeks ago.

Bounty woman came round while I was asleep and took photo of DS.

Turned up later, showed me the picture.

I was horrified that somebody I didn't know had taken a pic of my less-than-24-hour-old (post c-section, in pain, tearful, curtains drawn, wanted nothing to do with anybody other than DS and Midwives/HCP)

Her "You were asleep earlier so I didn't want to disturb you"

I was fuming. I politely asked her to remove the picture, I didn't want it.

"Well, what's your name and address?"

Me "I don't want to give you my details"
Her "It will only take a minute then you can have your bag"
Me "I don't want a bag thankyou"
Her "You won't get your CB form then"
Me "Yes I will, I'm not interested in the pack"
Her "Well, I'll call back tomorrow"
Me....(as another poster suggested up thread) "No, thank you. Goodbye."

I tried to be polite, she ignored me so I had to get arsey to see her off - I had to look her in the eye and say slowly and calmly "I am NOT interested in giving you my details please leave me alone"

She responded...."I'll come back tomorrow when you've had some rest"

She was delightful and so friendly to the other mums in the bay. The mums that bought the pics and gave their details. Go figure.

Buswanker Thu 13-Jun-13 22:35:38

I am pregnant now. I have been harassed by the Bounty lady after all five previous babies were born.
I posted earlier about how pleased I am Mumsnet have done this campaign. I also intend to write NO CONTACT FROM BOUNTY on my birth plan, has anyone else done this yet or discussed it with their midwife? If yes what happened?
Also shall I have a sign ready to put over my bed saying the same thing when I give birth?

emsyj Thu 13-Jun-13 22:40:27

I discussed it with the head midwife for my local maternity unit Buswanker and she said I could ask not to be approached by the Bounty rep, so you should be able to request no contact. I had my baby at home in the end so I don't know how effective the request would have been in practice though...

Buswanker Thu 13-Jun-13 22:43:51

Thanks emsyj. Maybe if a high percentage of pregnant women now request no contact then it help this campaign.

Mouse, that's horrific.

My dts were prem and in NICU too, in fact one of them had been transferred about 1.5 hours away when bounty lady came round.

She seemed disappointed there was no cots in my room.

Not as much as I was, love.

emsyj Thu 13-Jun-13 22:59:27

I think it's very telling that there are still a lot of women out there who think the Bounty packs and photography are a 'service' - someone upthread refers to 'the service should remain for those who want it'. It's not a service. Bounty are a commercial organisation who make their money selling personal details to third parties. The packs and photography are just a method of making an approach that appears legitimate. Bounty are not stupid. They know that if they came up to your bed and said, 'Can you fill in your details here please so that we can sell them to marketing companies at a huge profit so that you are inundated with junk mail for at least 12 months with no benefit to you whatsoever' then most people would just laugh in their face. But they are clearly doing a good job of pretending that they are there to offer something of value to new mothers as they have a lot of people convinced!

Interesting to see that there is an argument here regarding Data Protection that could (and should) be raised with the Information Commissioner. I raised this with the local head of midwifery (can't remember her job title right now) and she essentially avoided the issue and said that Bounty reps don't have access to medical records. hmm I just haven't had the time or headspace to pursue it further since DD2 arrived but I really want to. This could be an 'easy' way of getting Bounty banned.

Amazinggg Thu 13-Jun-13 23:01:54

I was under the impression that a 'bounty pack' was an actual necessary thing I needed during pregnancy - at my booking in appointment, the midwife said I would get one - I assumed it was an NHS thing. I got given it by a midwife at a later appointment, then another tried to give it to me again later.

Absolute junk. There was some form in there for registering baby's birth and most people I know didn't realise you could get that form online or from the PO quite easily. It's not even seen as a separate entity from NHS IMO.

And that's just the packs. I was in far too much of a drug induced haze post c-section to be aware of the photo pushing, I believe dH told them to eff off though as they kept trying to barge in when the breastfeeding counsellor was assisting me with bf a painful and emotional time.

Noideaatall Thu 13-Jun-13 23:03:35

I just wanted to say that I had my baby last week & was dreading the approach of the Bounty lady - but when she came round she was lovely. Really nice & polite, not pushy at all. I guess it all depends who you get....must have been lucky!

LineRunner Thu 13-Jun-13 23:07:40

Noideatall did you say 'No' though?

Charlesroi Thu 13-Jun-13 23:08:36

I've read stories about these sharks before and am appalled by what some of you have been subjected to.

I have a good friend who was badly injured in a RTA which was the other drivers fault (smashed up, off his face on morphine) and there would have been national outrage if he'd been doorstepped by ambulance chasing solicitors, but you're expected to 'opt out' of that kind of thing just because you've had a baby? Fuck that.

Also shall I have a sign ready to put over my bed saying the same thing when I give birth?
Yes, Buswanker, I'd do that. Get it laminated so it can be disinfected, just in case someone tries to tell you it's a health risk.

RedToothBrush Thu 13-Jun-13 23:26:52

That was the almost exact response that I got from Hospitals in FOI requests emsyj. They only considered data protection to be about access to patient files and nothing more. Which actually is not the case. They just generally avoided the questions; but this evasiveness was actually very telling (not to mention one hospital actually referring to patients as customers in its response!)

The other piece of legislation which could apply here is the Human Rights Act Article 8 which protects the right to a private life.

Without going into too much detail as I've talked about this before this is how I've understood it (though I'm just reading this without any professional knowledge so I could be wrong).

In general the act tends to prevent the interference of public authorities, from people's private lives, but there are certain circumstances public organisations have a positive obligation to take action to protect private lives. This generally comes into far in cases where someone is vulnerable or can't protect themselves for some reason.

In this situation, this definitely does require a test case to prove that wrong doing has been done as the legislation is deliberately very vague so can be used to cover a range of issue. The point is that it needs to be discussed and tested in court to set precident, but I do think there is a strong case here for hospitals, because of this issue of duty of care and their responsibilities to patients.

The questions of consent under duress and vulnerability are the real keys here. If there are aggressive sales practices going on here - which seems to be the case under the trading standards clauses - then whether consent has been freely given and valid is highly questionable. And if someone is in the care of someone - and therefore can legally termed as vulnerable in someway - when this is happening then they probably would also be liable. Whats more they are potentially guilty of being complicit in financial abuse of patient as a commercial transaction is taking place (both for the selling of photos and accessing patients for the harvesting of data).

Hence responsibility would come back to hospitals and in therefore in turn the DoH. And why their statement which totally abdicates responsibility in this is just so weak.

susiebb Thu 13-Jun-13 23:38:49

You may be surprised to hear from 'a Bounty hunter', but may i say former! I applied and accepted the post as it promised 'training' as a photographer - I couldn't wait!! I did not expect to have such intimate access to mums and was astonished as to the lack of check ups (my refs were asked twice once using another name and 6 weeks later), training, security and lastly photography training. The only training was sales/targets/ftf -ie no's mums met face to face. Bombarded with emails/txts on daily figures and league positions!! The camera was on Auto - you were trained to 'click'!! Paid purely on bonus, therefore low deliver wards salaries are simply zilch. Couldn't believe that they could actually get women to work in such a manner. Only those with little self esteem or those who are absolutely desperate for cash - and lets face many of us are. However, I'm fortunate enough to have got out after only 10 weeks of realising i'd been sold quite a few untruths.
Completely agree this shouldn't be allowed

cocobongo Thu 13-Jun-13 23:40:20


Amazinggg Thu 13-Jun-13 23:01:54

I was under the impression that a 'bounty pack' was an actual necessary thing I needed during pregnancy - at my booking in appointment, the midwife said I would get one - I assumed it was an NHS thing. I got given it by a midwife at a later appointment, then another tried to give it to me again later.

Absolute junk. There was some form in there for registering baby's birth and most people I know didn't realise you could get that form online or from the PO quite easily. It's not even seen as a separate entity from NHS IMO.

And I had the curtain pulled back by Bounty lady in post-natal ward while baby in SCBU. And she exclaimed, "What, no baby?!". Completely insensitive. And who gave her the right to pull my curtain back, the only thing enabling my privacy? My experience is insignificant compared to some of the others on this thread, but is also sadly typical.

Bogeyface Fri 14-Jun-13 00:23:17

If a mobility scooter company started going around amuptee wards offering test drives to patients, there would be absolute horror.

But approaching a woman who has just given birth is fine?

Signed, shared....

Bogeyface Fri 14-Jun-13 00:33:55

This article was posted above, and it is my local hospital where I gave birth to 5 of my 6 children. Bounty are not "well received" they are forcibly given. I was not aware until I had my third that CB forms could be obtained independently.

The reps dont like being told no, and now the same hospital has sold adverstising space to another photographers and advise "booking now in time for your newborns arrival".

It is less like a maternity ward and more like fashion week at Queens Burton now. It is one of the many reasons that I had my 6th at home, utterly shite care being another. My previous births had been "high risk" except they werent hmm

Bogeyface Fri 14-Jun-13 00:34:22
delasi Fri 14-Jun-13 01:38:38

I gave birth in the last year and filled out the survey. I wasn't bombarded with Bounty info throughout pregnancy - the hospital I gave birth in didn't even mention it and I actually requested a pack at my booking-in appointment because I wanted the mini Sudocrem pot (blush). I didn't have to do anything to get that, the midwife just got one for me.

When I entered the pushing stage of labour I was transferred to a private room. Midway through pushing someone entered the room and the midwife barked at them to get out and exclaimed that she didn't know why that person was entering the room. I was pretty out of it so I didn't really give it any thought.

At almost precisely the same time the next day (in the morning) I was still in that room as I had stayed in there overnight. This meant that DH could also stay in the room on the pull-out chair bed, which he did. My 1 day old baby was finally asleep following a night of crying. DH was asleep. And I was so ready for some sleep. I must have been asleep for about 20mins when a knock comes on the door and a woman walks in and opens the curtain that covers the entrance. I woke up straight away thinking it must be medical personnel. Uh, nuh. It was the Bounty lady. On pulling back the curtain she went wide-eyed and looked a tad surprised to see my husband asleep at her feet. She then looked at me and mentioned she was from Bounty. Sheer tiredness had rendered me incapable of speech so I simply pointed to the corner of the room where a Bounty bag sat having been brought to me the day before by a midwife. She tried to talk and I just kept waving at the bag. She eventually backed out of the room.

It is purely speculation, I realise, but it did make me wonder if the Bounty lady had stumbled into my labour the day before. What really got me though is that anyone would have the confidence (or is that audacity?) to walk into a closed-door private room that is also a birthing suite without any invitation (the knock was purely formality) and act surprised that we weren't actually prepared for accepting visitors. Salespeople have no place in maternity units. Full stop. Whether you're pregnant, on the post-natal ward, in a room, whatever the circumstances. It's just not right.

Buswanker Fri 14-Jun-13 06:45:23

Could mumsnet (or someone, I would ask someone I know) design a logo similar to the say no to Nestle one.
It would be printed out or made into a sticker and stuck on maternity notes and laminated and put above your hospital bed. It would be recognisable and clear to everyone then and would help get the message across.

Stickers to go on maternity notes is a great idea (we'd need two though, as here at least, they take your maternity notes away and give you new postnatal ones)

As has been said more than once, my DH, parents, PILs and children are all perfectly nice and polite. Hey, so is the takeaway guy. Doesnt mean they should have unlimited access to a hospital ward, the women are there because they are recovering from giving birth.

And regarding no access to medical records, my PN notes were kept on the end of my bed, containing the ins and outs of my labour and my existing medical information. Does that not count as my medical records, just because it doesnt detail my ENT history as a child? hmm

SuffolkNWhat Fri 14-Jun-13 08:24:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Who are the big companies that use bounty? Is it worth speaking to them about the unethicalness (if that were a word) of sending a sales rep round a postnatal ward. All these big companies like to pretend they're ethical, don't they!

I remember sudocrem (over two pregnancies I've had so many pots that I've never needed to buy any!) pampers (the nappy), huggies (wipes), johnsons (wipes), dettol (spray), persil (washing tablets) fairy (washing tablets), comfort (fabric softener), bepanthan (cream)

Bogeyface Fri 14-Jun-13 08:42:01

I always got loads of crap from La Redoute in mine

Telegraph article reporting Queens defense of the Bounty practice (in Bogey's link above) ends by saying that funds received from Bounty have gone towards purchase of new equipment, including a new birthing pool.

Well, I was fortunate to have DD in a birthing pool in hospital and I don't see it as a nice optional extra but as essential hospital equipment, as necessary for those women for whom a water-birth is helpful as an anaesthetist is for those women having their babies by C section (And less expensive)

Essential hospital equipment should be provided by the hospital and directly from government support (through our taxes if you like)
If extra resources are needed, such as perhaps spare supplies of newborn nappies or such-like I'd rather see these provided by charities or volunteers

I dont know about the bumpf, I threw all mine straight in the recycling!

xylem8 Fri 14-Jun-13 08:57:39

I have had 5 children, and have never seen a bounty rep in my life.The midwives asked you if you wanted to fill out a form to get a bounty box and that was it.Also thel ocal rag would do a photo of you and your baby for free , to publish in the 'births' section of the paper.But again the midwife asked you if you wanted it first, and only then was the photographer brought in.
Also nobody but husbands allowed to visit a woman in the 24 houts after CS not even parents and siblings

Xenia Fri 14-Jun-13 09:05:00

As I said above it is a question of trade off - funds from bounty against disruption to mothers. I don't think postal marketing is a problem or being able of you choose to collect a bounty pack from a GP is a problem but having these people on the wards even if only 1 in 10 of them is pushy is described above is unacceptable.

On data protection law in my view you have a reasonable expectation of privacy when you are drugged up and in a hospital bed and are not giving any kind of implied consent that when you are asleep a Bounty person can sneak in and photograph your child without your permission (example above). I expect she deleted the photo on request but even so the taking of it would breach the rights unless it were made clear on the ward that the Bounty people may be in to take pictures of your child even if you are unconscious and to let them know if you do not consent. I bet they don't do that in private hospitals with famous people in who have sold pictures of the newborn for £100k to Hello! magazine. Yes, invasive commercial outside visitors when you are bleeding and in pain who yo do not want around might well be a Human Rights breach of some kind too.

I never knew you got CB forms from Bounty. I always had to get someone to get one from the post office for me for the children. That may be because I had 6 hour transfers from hospital (home after 6 hours) and one birth at home so did not have a stay in hospital - thankfully so avoided all this awful stuff.

SuffolkNWhat Fri 14-Jun-13 09:58:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

chocolatemartini Fri 14-Jun-13 10:27:03

If hmrc are paying public funds to bounty to distribute forms, and nhs wards are accepting payments from bounty, why not just divert taxpayers' money from hmrc and just give it to the maternity wards along with a pile of forms to be given out on discharge? Why is a private company involved at any stage?

emsyj Fri 14-Jun-13 10:56:09

Looking at the 'key definitions' from the DPA here, it seems clear that birthing status should fall within the definition of 'sensitive personal data' - either because it consists of information relating to the woman's sexual life or (more likely) information relating to her "physical or mental health or condition".

From the link above (which is from the Information Commissioner's Office) -
"The presumption is that, because information about these matters [sensitive personal data] could be used in a discriminatory way, and is likely to be of a private nature, it needs to be treated with greater care than other personal data. In particular, if you are processing sensitive personal data you must satisfy one or more of the conditions for processing which apply specifically to such data, as well as one of the general conditions which apply in every case. The nature of the data is also a factor in deciding what security is appropriate.

"The categories of sensitive personal data are broadly drawn so that, for example, information that someone has a broken leg is classed as sensitive personal data, even though such information is relatively matter of fact and obvious to anyone seeing the individual concerned with their leg in plaster and using crutches. Clearly, details about an individual’s mental health, for example, are generally much more “sensitive” than whether they have a broken leg."

The conditions for processing are much more stringent for sensitive personal data - see here. I don't see that disclosure to a Bounty rep (who is on the ward entirely for commercial reasons and thereby privy to the 'sensitive personal data' of who has given birth, the sex of the baby, how the baby was delivered etc etc) falls into any of these categories. It seems on my reading of the information here that it can only be processed without the explicit (i.e. NOT implied) consent of the data subject unless there is a substantial public interest reason for processing which necessitates that consent is not sought because doing so would prejudice the purposes for which the data is being processed - e.g. an investigation into 'seriously improper conduct' of a person that is being conducted to protect the public.

All very interesting. I wish I'd paid more attention to Data Protection at law school!

emsyj Fri 14-Jun-13 10:56:52

Sorry can only be processed with explicit consent.

Xenia Fri 14-Jun-13 11:51:44

What is the sensitive data they would process? Your photograph is not sensitive data. I think it is only photographs that Bounty may be processing without express consents and even there I believe in general they ask - are you happy to have it taken (and in some Muslim only areas I would imagine no one would ever consent so no photos are taken so no breach occurs).

Mere presence on a ward with consent from the hospital - ie. walking around is not processing data. Stealing your data from medical records at the end of your bed (if they do that which I suspect they do not) would be.

"A few posters have mentioned the packs you get from the MW at your booking in. I tried to refuse mine, but accepted it when the MW said that they got £1 for each one they handed out. I felt like I'd be doing the NHS out of much needed dosh if I refused the sodding thing."

this is exactly the reason why MN boycotts Nestle.
that Nestle give samples to the midwives in underdeveloped countries, and pay for training etc, so the midwives recommend nestle products instead of teaching the women how to BF.

emsyj Fri 14-Jun-13 12:35:18

The fact that you are in hospital and have just had a baby. This is sensitive personal data (I'm not sure why you think it isn't? - the example given in the link is of a person who has broken their leg). Having access to the ward and seeing who is there and that they've given birth (including, possibly, that your baby is ill/in SCBU, has died, you've had twins etc etc) when you are a third party is, IMO, processing sensitive personal data as the hospital are disclosing it to Bounty who have no reason to be there.

If you were a personal injury claims company, you wouldn't be able to ring the A&E department and ask for a list of patients who had been in a car accident that day and then go into the curtained-off areas to offer them leaflets about making a claim (perhaps with a free pen?) This is exactly what Bounty are able to do on the maternity ward - identify who is likely to be susceptible to baby-related marketing. So what justification is there for having third parties on the maternity ward? Why are they allowed to be privy to the fact that you're there, you've had a baby etc?

I disagree that allowing Bounty reps on the ward isn't processing sensitive personal data. Consent from the hospital is not consent from the data subject. Consent by mothers to being in hospital is not express consent to their sensitive personal data (i.e. the fact that they've had a baby) being disclosed to a third party. Express consent from the data subject is required. Being able to 'opt out' (which doesn't appear to work very well anyway according to several posters on this thread) isn't express consent.

Mouseface Fri 14-Jun-13 13:55:22

TooTaboo - shock WTAF? I am absolutely appalled that a Bounty Rep did that to you and your baby!!! Whilst you were asleep FFS!!! That is horrific. I'd have gone all levels of crazy Bat Shit on her ass. I think you were extremely polite in the circumstances.

What a horrible thing to wake up to sad x

Mouseface Fri 14-Jun-13 14:09:38

AprilFool - sad when your baby is hooked up to all sorts of monitors and machinery keeping him alive, the last thing you want is a stranger touting for your business.

When Nemo was in neonates, there was a degree of severity if that makes sense. The sickest babies were at the end of the ward, (NICU) and the ones who were almost okay enough to come out or go home were nearest the door.

Nemo started off in NICU and gradually worked his way down towards the door over a number of weeks. It was the most frightening time of my life. Watching some of those babies never make it to the door. Knowing how lucky we were that our baby did.

Each time I went back to the room I had, there would be another 'reminder' that the Bounty Rep would be calling in on me at X O'Clock that day. I asked that the MWs tell her not to bother but there was more than one and they were so relentless.

I was only allowed to stay in the hospital for 10 days after his birth. Thank God these reps aren't allowed to wander freely into the SCBU/NICU wards.

I really feel for you xxx

Elquota Fri 14-Jun-13 14:40:41

Agree with the idea of a sticker or sign. I don't think it should be attached to the notes though.

Elquota Fri 14-Jun-13 14:41:30

(reason being I wouldn't want the nosy Bounty woman anywhere near my private notes).

How about a folder to put them in, like the ones bounty give out, saying
"Unless you are a health professional, you may not access my notes" with a no-bounty sign on it?

looksarethefirstweapon Fri 14-Jun-13 15:36:07

I'm so glad this has been brought to light. I had numerous visits from the Bounty lady at my hospital. Before I gave birth, I actually looked forward to her visit and having my newborn photographed.

When it came to it, I'd had a long traumatic labour and birth. I knew I was going to be in hospital for a while so I told her I'd get in touch when I was in a fit state to make decisions. Like many people, I struggled a lot with breastfeeding and the 'Baby Blues' hit me really hard. Having my baby photographed was the last thing on my mind, I just wanted to go home with a healthy baby. She still came back every day, armed with bribes freebies and each time she got her arse in her hands when I told her I wasn't ready. Tomorrow was always her day off, I had to do it today or I'd miss out. Needless to say, she was there every day!

It put me right off. I can't stand pressure selling and I went home thinking she was a miserable liar. And wondering how I was going to fit all her bribes freebies in my tiny Peugeot 107!

Not just that, but you have very little privacy/dignity as it is with the world and his wife traipsing into your room to check this, that and the other without another stranger wandering in and catching you with your bits & pieces on show.

Don't get me wrong, Bounty packs are a great idea. And I'm not just saying that because I didn't buy a single pack of nappies or wipes for 2 months thanks to the desperate saleswoman in the hospital. I genuinely think they are a great help to new mums. Preying on the vulnerable in hospital though, is the lowest of the low. They shouldn't be allowed to target hospital wards.

Xenia Fri 14-Jun-13 15:58:12

em, what data do they process without explicit consent? Do you mean when they take a photo and if they take the photo without consent? I don't think they process any other data unless the mother has expressly agreed. Hospitals do not give them lists of patient names so how would they even know the name of the lady in front of them?

Xenia - i think they mean that they take your details when you're not in a state to argue.
that could be construed as forced consent

6 months after my original thread on this i am still getting shite in my letterbox, i did not give her my information. And im still pissed she ruined my first few days with my last baby. well done mumsnet for all of this!

Daisy299 Fri 14-Jun-13 17:53:27

IsThisAGoodIdea, I've got social anxiety disorder. I don't deal well with strangers at the best of times, and I'm assuming post-birth is certainly not 'the best of times'. Hence I worry about Bounty reps harassing me, particularly when my husband is not present.

I didn't see the need to bring my condition up originally because marketing staff have no place in a hospital ward regardless. Every mother is likely to feel vulnerable, confused etc - not just the ones prone to mental health concerns.

If marketing staff were allowed to wander the wards selling wheelchairs to amputees, we would be horrified, and rightly so. Quite how their presence in a maternity ward is justifiable is totally beyond me, even on the basic point of security and hygiene.

Xenia Fri 14-Jun-13 19:36:26

Unique, that may be so. Women may feel they cannot say no. I certainly would object on moral grounds to sales people being allowed in and am so glad I had my 6 hour transfers so was in and out or gave birth at home. You can avoid all this awful stuff and the institutionalisation of staying in a hospital too. However case law has said women can give a consent even in labour to things like a C section so I suspect after birth most of them are able to give an informed consent about whether they want Bounty to take a picture or not.

Daisy, very good points. I would like them banned even if it means loss of revenue.

Says Bounty pays the NHS £2.3m. I suggest the NHS can manage without that money and hospitals should end Bounty visitors to wards. says (not sure of the date)

" Doctor brands NHS profits from pregnancy “unacceptable”

Profits from pregnancy: how trusted organisations sell out women to commercial interests

Trusted organisations, such as the NHS and some UK royal colleges, profit by selling commercial advertisers access to pregnant women through promotions such as Bounty bags.

On today, GP Margaret McCartney says these potential conflicts of interests are unacceptable.

For example, she describes how a commercial company was offered access to mothers through adverts and editorial content in ‘Baby and You’ – a magazine being set up by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, which it plans to give for free to pregnant women.

The college receives £90,000 a year from the publisher, but said it is “concerned to be associated with this practice,” which it described as “ethically questionable” and that it has “strict policies on its advertising and sponsorship and does not seek advertorials for any of its publications.”

Bounty is another promotions company, with several points of contact with new families, writes McCartney. It gives out a total of 2.6 million “baby bags” a year. Some are distributed by NHS healthcare professionals and others by Bounty representatives in postnatal wards.

Bounty told the BMJ that it pays £2.3m to the NHS annually and that over 90% of mothers are “satisfied” with the packs, according to its own survey of 4,000 parents in January 2013.

However Belinda Phipps, chief executive of the National Childbirth Trust, is angry about the way that the NHS allows Bounty access to new mothers. “Within hours of giving birth, they are being asked questions - their name and address, details of life insurance - and they give them in good faith, thinking they’re speaking to a hospital person,” she says. “In fact it’s a commercial person. The NHS is condoning a sales team to collect data from mothers in order to sell their name on to commercial interests.”

In a 2010 survey, the NCT found that half of just over 1,000 parents did not know, and were unhappy, that their details would be used to target advertising to them. A further 37% knew that their details would be sold on and were unhappy with it; the remainder were unconcerned.

The NCT also found that H M Revenue and Customs pays Bounty more than £90,000 a year to distribute child benefit forms in its packs.
“The lack of knowledge about what signing over your details means is troubling in a hospital environment, which should take consent and confidentiality seriously,” says Dr McCartney. “The hours after birth are hardly an optimal time to obtain formal consent. And is the presence of a non-essential Bounty worker on the ward desirable?”

McCartney also points to Emma’s Diary – a book endorsed by the Royal College of General Practitioners that is posted in bulk to general practices to pass on to pregnant women. It comprises 25 pages of medical information and 119 pages of adverts and offers “gift packs” on the receipt of information from mothers.

Is this helpful knowledge deserving of the stamp of RCGP approval, she asks?

In the RCGP’s accounts, more than £214,000 is entered as “other income including grants and sponsorships.” The RCGP would not tell the BMJ how much of this was the net gain from advertising through Emma’s Diary, but in a statement it said that “all content is quality assured by our RCGP editorial board who do a sterling job in ensuring that it is updated to reflect any changes to medical working practices, latest research findings [and] government guidelines.”

Is it right that the NHS infer its approval for the thousands of products being promoted at parents, asks McCartney? Do we really want parents placed under advertising pressure and for its doctors, radiographers, and midwives to be the conduit?

She concludes: “Some conflicts of interest in medicine are hard to avoid. Others are not. These should be easy.”"

I only met the Bounty lady after my third child. I had wanted to go home from delivery but due to a pph they wanted me to stay in overnight. I said no way (it was then 5am and they wanted me to stay about another 30 hours) but I would stay say 12 hours and see how things went. So around 11am when I'd finished mopping self up after rather scary flooding and clots incident and was just about relaxed enough to go to sleep after labouring all night - in she pops. I felt dire at that point and told her to go away. Of course I got the 'but don't you want your bag..' stuff so I said fine, leave the bag and just go away. She went but of course by then I was wired and awake again. Didn't really sleep for another 36 hours because dd3 wanted to feed all the next night. So thanks for that Bounty. There is NO WAY they should be allowed near recntly delivered mums. Especially not those who've been up all night and lost a lot of blood.

RedToothBrush Fri 14-Jun-13 20:05:44

However case law has said women can give a consent even in labour to things like a C section so I suspect after birth most of them are able to give an informed consent about whether they want Bounty to take a picture or not.

Actually, given the information that women are given, the question is perhaps less about the consent part of this and more about the informed bit.

Plus you are talking about the difference between making decisions about life saving issues with health professionals who have sworn an oath to act in your best interests, and someone who is trying to sell you something for their own personal gain and has no interest whatsoever in your welfare.

Now thats a big difference.

The later has not got the motivation nor the commitment to you and has every bit of self interest in glossing over the negative aspects of what they are actually doing.

Consent about your health is therefore a very different issue than consent about other aspects of your life.

In general, in emergency situations and non-emergency situations a person will tend to give consent based on the information provided by them a health professional. I will admit that sometimes HCP do apply too much pressure, but as a rule, we do tend to act on medical advice because of this issue of trust and the sworn responsibility that those caring for us have made. Our health and that of our immediate family is the number one priority in our lives and this is a really important aspect of why we and how we make decisions. There is a level of accountability here too.

In a situation such as this - selling photos on the ward or collecting information - are women making the same, or similar decision to the one they would if they weren't cold called and the commercial company was in a side room? And is there the same level of trust and accountability going on? And aren't women perhaps thinking about other things which they consider to be far more important and this blurs out the other things round the side.

Which means how much can we count on the fact that the decision that is made is informed consent? And how much is that decision given because of the situation and the situation that creates a situation of trust which is a complete and utter lie.

Which goes right back to the trading standards regulations about 'situation' and vulnerability. Its perfectly possible to consent to major things at high pressure points in our lives because they are the one and only thing we are focussed on. But whilst we are focussed on these things, and perhaps under the influence of drugs and extreme emotional pressure, are we able to make good informed decisions about the 'less important' aspects of our lives? Isn't this precisely why sales people are banned from other wards and precisely why the regulations exist in the first place, because they recognise this issue and the fact that consenting to something is somewhat more complex than simply being sane and alert.

Cereja Fri 14-Jun-13 20:40:56

Was exhausted, still partly epidural after a long labour and this woman came up, asked for my details, which I gave because I assumed she was a midwife, only to be then given the bounty bag. Scandalous! Pleased mumsnet is doing this

emsyj Fri 14-Jun-13 21:29:37

Xenia the definition of 'processing includes: "disclosure of the information or data by transmission, dissemination or otherwise making available" - so I am (not very articulately) referring to the hospital processing sensitive personal data by disclosing that you have had a baby (and very possibly that you have had a c-section, a normal delivery, an epidural, twins, a premature baby etc etc - personal details that may not be immediately obvious to an observer as you push your pram down the street) to a third party (i.e. Bounty). The disclosure doesn't require the Bounty rep to know your name - they can 'identify' you because they can see you. They don't need to know what your name is, just see you and thereby be able to identify you as an individual.

I've had half a bottle of excellent wine so that might not be very well expressed...

Amazinggg Fri 14-Jun-13 22:11:24

Just a quick update to my previous post - I said that DH told them to eff off as I was struggling to bf and receiving help - just speaking to him now, apparently he did literally say eff off as they came twice when I was sleeping and wanted to wake me up!! Am pretty shocked. Thank you MNHQ for doing this and really hope Bounty are kicked out.

Xenia Fri 14-Jun-13 22:18:00

I really don't think the hospital discloses your personal data by letting a Bounty rep walk around wards unless people's names are on the beds. It is no different from if the Bounty rep walked down a main street and saw you with a baby in its pram . That is not processing data. I am not Bounty's representative here however. I did write a couple of books on data protection law but like most people I often get things wrong so more than happy to be corrected.

RedToothBrush Fri 14-Jun-13 22:26:35

Xenia, I've just looked at the most recent comments from the last month in the other thread.

I've directly copied and pasted this post:

MsIngaFewmarbles Wed 15-May-13 23:21:50
I started work on a postnatal ward last week. A woman without a name badge or uniform came into the ward office and was reading the board we have for all the mothers and babies information. I politely asked who she was and she said she was the Bounty lady. I asked if she was allowed in as we have personal information in there. She said that she came into the office every morning to check for new mums shock I haven't had a chance to ask my boss about it yet but I will. It's such an invasion at a really special and vulnerable time.


Reading that comment, I hope that whistleblowing is going on, because that, to my mind is a clear breech.

Mouseface Fri 14-Jun-13 22:37:10

MNHQ - thank you from me too..... we have no family nearby, so it was just DH and me trying to juggle his self employed status, DD being at school, a newborn in SCBU/NICU and a disabled wife..

It was damned hard, it was confusing, upsetting and we were so where we didn't think we'd be...... I hope that Bounty go from these wards where we're supposed to be happy, feel safe with our newborns.

Bounty's pressure means that is NOT the case IME.

Off to bed, night brave mums who have posted about their own horrific experiences. xxx

EnlightenedOwl Fri 14-Jun-13 22:51:14

Please look at this link to Wrightington Hospitals

Now go to the bottom and read the section about Bounty

Each day a Bounty representative is available on the ward to offer a photographic service. This is entirely optional and a charge will be incurred. You will also receive a complimentary Birth pack which includes your Child Benefit documentation. Please ensure you obtain this pack before you leave hospital. If you are having a Home Birth then your Community Midwife will arrange one for you

Now could this not be read as you must get a pack because it has your child benefit forms in it?

EnlightenedOwl Fri 14-Jun-13 22:54:52

Or, you could try Derwent Valley where Bounty Lady is one of the medical professionals..

emsyj Fri 14-Jun-13 23:22:45

That's not what the ICO guidance says though Xenia - they don't need to know your name for you to be an 'identifiable individual'. Seeing you in person is sufficient according to what I have read. They don't need to know your name according to the guidance.

Re "It is no different from if the Bounty rep walked down a main street" - walking down a main street is you being in public. An NHS maternity ward isn't a public place is it? I don't think so, but I could be wrong. My local maternity unit is locked and you have to be buzzed in, so it doesn't feel very public - you need a reason to be admitted.

By way of analogy, it's fine for a claims company to stand around in town centres with clipboards (unfortunately) and approach people hobbling around on crutches or bearing other visible signs of injury to see if they have a claim - but that isn't equivalent to them being able to access a hospital ward specifically in order to find such people when they are neither a medical professional nor a relative or friend of the patients there.

This is purely my interpretation of the legislation and guidance as I have read it. Given that you presumably have a more extensive knowledge of the Act than I do I am genuinely interested in how you conclude that it is definitely not a breach. I can't think of a way to word that without sounding confrontational, so all I can say is that I am not being confrontational I am genuinely interested in the debate. I am an ex-lawyer but have no particular knowledge of Data Protection.

RedToothBrush Fri 14-Jun-13 23:23:35

If you stated that you did not wish a partner to visit you whilst on the ward then this would have to be respected. There would be no ifs or buts about it.


FryOneFatManic Fri 14-Jun-13 14:19:47
So, had a c section on Tuesday morning, Tuesday afternoon asked the midwife if they had bounty reps and if so, could she tell them I'm not interested so they couldn't come to my room, she laughed and said "well I'll try". Wednesday, the bounty lady still came in to see me, although dh was there and told her we were not interested, so she left. When I was leaving on Thursday morning she was there, outside of visiting hours, in the midwife room, where everyone's notes are kept...

It would be interesting to see if you do end up with junk mail after all, if the rep was in the midwives room....

Why the "I'll try" instead of of course and it being completely respected?

I don't get it. Why is one accepted and out completely outlawed.

How can a hospital ensure that data is protected if staff with a commercial interest in your details be allowed to roam wards freely and unsupervised. This is what is classed as a 'risk'. Yet, none of the hospitals I asked had done a risk assessment for the Bounty Lady...

courgetteDOTcom Fri 14-Jun-13 23:48:03

xenia, could you explain why an MNer (not sure if it's been on this thread but it was on the one I was reading the other day when I was writing an article about bounty), was getting birthday notifications for years despite not giving bounty anything due to a stillbirth?

courgetteDOTcom Fri 14-Jun-13 23:58:20

I'm going to have to get my laptop out to read/reply properly.

I just wanted to say first though, I wouldn't want them anywhere near the hospital. I think forms in reception to include a photographic voucher either in the form or in the pack from Boots should be enough. having these women IN hospital gives them some credence, it's allowing y the hospital to endorse the products.

courgetteDOTcom Fri 14-Jun-13 23:58:36

and endorse bounty.

courgetteDOTcom Sat 15-Jun-13 00:02:16

oh and if anyone is really desperate for a free pic, NCT have a partnership if you go through their page.

LineRunner Sat 15-Jun-13 00:06:40

And thankfully, in the days of camera phones it's all becoming obsolete anyway.

courgetteDOTcom Sat 15-Jun-13 00:13:35

mumof4 - not sure what hospital you were in or worked for but that doesn't reflect the experience of most people here or the opinions I got for my article.

and really? do some background research before you criticise an organisation, because MN is the most supportive, proactive site, both as a forum and an organisation, I know. I've been on a campaign with Justine, I'm involved at the moment in supporting an MNer who is bereaved, and part of the miscarriage statement was from a point I made. as much as these things are important to me, I'm not sure I'd have had the opportunity to do it without MN. despite what the media say, this place does good!

Clothqueen Sat 15-Jun-13 08:15:21

I work for the NHS and I think this whole thing is totally wrong and we all know of they were not paying for access they would not be there. Its wrong that only certain companies can do this eg small business can't as they aren't in the pack. The whole thing is wrong wrong wrong. Mums should boycott the whole bounty pack thing until they are forced to withdraw, I never signed on when I had my two children as once they get your details its rubbish coming through the post forever.

ParsingFancy Sat 15-Jun-13 12:23:20

HMRC's missed a £90,000 trick here.

If Bounty are using the CB forms as a hook to increase acceptance of their packs, HMRC shouldn't be paying Bounty.

Bounty should either be merely permitted to distribute the forms, no payment passing.

Or Bounty should be paying HMRC for the privilege of using attaching their products to such a valuable item.

Xenia Sat 15-Jun-13 12:49:23

If you have an expectation of privacy on an NHS public ward and you are not told about Bounty then Bounty taking your photograph without permission would breach the law. I can agree on that. If you are in public place people can take photos.

It depends what is being done. If it is photos without consent then that could breach the law particularly if there is an expectation of privacy there which you don't get in a street when people can snap you doing your Oxford St Christmas shopping without permission.

If we are talking about taking away your personal details without permission that would breach the law too.

I do not believe that a hospital allowing Bounty people on to the ward though is a data protection breach. Just allowing them to walk around the public ward any more than if the hospital cleaner or Uncle Bert or the man changing the light bulbs is allowed on a ward is not a breach of the data protection law.

However some of the examples people have given of Bounty reps not following Bounty rules will be breaches just as every year someone on the Police Force goes to the police database and takes data in breach of police rules and in breach of the law.

On this one:
"MsIngaFewmarbles Wed 15-May-13 23:21:50
I started work on a postnatal ward last week. A woman without a name badge or uniform came into the ward office and was reading the board we have for all the mothers and babies information. I politely asked who she was and she said she was the Bounty lady. I asked if she was allowed in as we have personal information in there. She said that she came into the office every morning to check for new mums shock I haven't had a chance to ask my boss about it yet but I will. It's such an invasion at a really special and vulnerable time."
It sounds like some NHS websites do tell mothers Bounty people may be around as quoted in an earlier post above but not very clearly and who reads the website before they attend.

I certainly think it is worth looking at. If the Bounty people are allowed into the office to see a list of who has given birth that is passing personal data to Bounty. That is sensitive data as it is about health information. That needs the mothers' express consent no matter how much money Bounty is paying the hospital. Now it may be that before being admitted mothers sign a consent (I doubt it but it's possible).

Does anyone know what is shown in NHS wards? If I walked around one could I see someone's name and medical details at the bottom of her bed for example and anyone can see that including visitors or does the bed tell you nothing?

Msbluesky32 Sat 15-Jun-13 13:23:47

I'm so glad this is being looked into. I gave birth to our first child in April and after being home for half and day we were rushed straight back into hospital. Our LO was very unwell and spent a week in hospital - I stayed with her. A bounty rep visited the ward while we were there and was really pushy wanting to take a photograph. I found it very upsetting - it brought to the fore how unwell my baby was and quite frankly after a 36 hr labour and a week of no sleep on the ward I looked a wreck - the very last thing we wanted was a stranger pointing a camera in our faces.

Mouseface Sat 15-Jun-13 14:30:23

sad Bluesky - sorry to hear you had to go through that.

Xebia - at the end of my bed, were notes about the birth, in a folder (closed) with my name on the front. It wasn't there all of the time, but because my baby was in SCBU, HIS details were in the unit with him. My notes had all of my personal details in, DOB, address, details of the birth, dad's details etc....... I got a copy of that to bring home. Also what pain killer meds I was on post birth.

I was in a side room but I couldn't lock the door when I spent the days and nights in SCBU, so if the file was left at the end of the bed, anyone could look at it I guess.

Mouseface Sat 15-Jun-13 14:31:25

Xenia - so sorry! blush

<wanders off muttering something about lack of sleep>

Xenia Sat 15-Jun-13 15:15:52

I think a closed folder at end of bed which a visiting rapist is just as likely to see as what are probably mostly pretty nice Bounty ladies, does not breach data protection law but I think a decision about allowing Bounty people in should be taken not on legal grounds but because it is just totally inappropriate for new mothers. Also I am surprised they are all in hospital long enough to meet them. What is the normal say in hospital these days after having a baby and do the Bounty people come round every day of the year? I was in 6 hours. Even if you stayed in 24 or 48 presumably the chance of being there when a Bounty person was there is pretty slim.

The thing that concerns me about the folder on the end of the bed/data confidentiality/everyone else potentially having access is that during visiting hours I expected "random" (ie everyone elses visitors) people to be wandering around the ward, so I was always awake. During non-visitor hours, you expect only medical/essential maintenance staff to be there, and that is the time to be dozing. And examples have been given of bounty staff nosing through the notes (to "help" by not disturbing you) to get your details.

Btw Xenia, next time (not that I'm planning on a next time!) let me know your hospital and I'll give birth there! My hospital was a bugger at letting you out quickly, even on my 2nd perfectly straight forward (although induced - though they did say this was no reason to keep me in) labour. The doctor was apparently too busy to discharge us hmm
and DS2 was born at 6am and the bounty lady turned up at 9am

That is, if I didnt get the home birth I wanted again! grin

Certainly going to support this - even though I've never met a Bounty Lady. I gave birth in a MLU, no Bounty Lady in sight.

BUT...I did pick up a pack at one of my scans, which has resulted in CONSTANT junk mail over the past year, cold-calling (mostly surveys) and junk emails too. I'm sick to the back teeth of it. I got one nappy and one tiny pot of bum cream.

In fact, I was quite looking forward to getting one, as my mum had told me how good the packs were...obviously things have changed since she had her kids in the 80s.

I dunno if I am a lucky one but I never got bothered my bounty rep. like she did come to see me but she never bothered me a such. I was very relaxed with her and actually was thankful as in the free bag I got was a small sized nappy with actually was the right size for my baby as he was 5lb 1oz. She just asked me if I would like to fill in a leaflet and said if I didn't want to get any newsletter or information to be passed on then I didn't have to and that I would still get the free pack. She was a very lovely lady and even came back to give me more free samples as I had been in the hospital for nearly a week and had some spares.

I've not really had any junk mail from bounty only the other companies that I signed up to myself like cow and gate and such. Also if the curtains were closed she would not bother anyone and if she did it would only be because they requested she would come back later.

@ xenia the bounty woman for me seemed to be in every 3 days or so.

WOAH bounty taking photos now that IS against the law. My son had his photograph taken BUT she had an ID badge and was a private company and only came round once a week and I was very lucky. She asked me if I was interested and I said yes and she was very gentle with David and didn't force him to do anything. Either I'm very lucky meeting nice people or maybe I'm a bit laid back >W<.

OhDearNigel Sat 15-Jun-13 21:25:02

I can't understand why people have to be provided with their child benefit forms. If you want to claim any other benefit, the onus is on you to get the form. Not for the State to pay a commercial agency to give it to you.

CB forms could be made available in post offices or online, like every single other form. Or why not get registrars to hand them out when families go to register their baby ? There would then be no cost to the state at all.

Oh, and I got my forms from the HV during a home visit.

Xenia Sun 16-Jun-13 08:19:51

Beyond, on 6 hour discharge - with baby 1 I said I wanted a home birth. I was only 22. The head of midwifery saw me with her cohorts and was rather nasty but her compromise was the 6 hour transfer which was just about okay for a first birth.

With the twins one of whom was born in hospital (long story) by 9pm when the older children had arrived we wanted to go home. They said no doctor was there . We gave it 30 minutes and then said we were leaving regardless (they cannot keep you in against your will otherwise it is false imprisonment). they said fair enough go at your own risk which was fine with me... but then miraculously they found a doctor to discharge us and we were all home by about 10.30pm. There is a trend to let people home sooner as it saves NHS money anyway and it suits a lot of mothers.

OhDearNigel, as far as I am aware, the CB forms are already available in post offices, and I got mine online for DS (and that was 9 years ago).

What is needed is a campaign to highlight that the forms are available.

And the forms should be available in maternity units outside of the Bounty packs.

SuffolkNWhat Sun 16-Jun-13 10:38:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cheerfulweather Sun 16-Jun-13 12:05:58

So so glad to see a campaign on this.

I remember one going round a ward handing out the packs, then barking "Name." by way of asking for the baby's name details, I think it goes towards their Bounty baby name stats?
Also felt their presence on the ward to be obtrusive, opening my curtains to ask about photographs. Surly when declined their services.

Pyneapple Sun 16-Jun-13 12:23:16

As well as the online petition, it I think we should start a concerted round of complaints to the Information Commissioner. The Information Commissioner has the power to require bodies to cease their activities if they breach the requirements of the Data Protection Act.

In my experience, Bounty and their reps undoubtedly breach the requirements. For a start, fundamentally, they do not state what personal data is being collected for, instead relying on the incapacitated state of new mothers and their inability properly to ask for information or meaningfully to (refuse) consent to data collection.

See here: for details of how to complain.

Mouseface Sun 16-Jun-13 14:07:17

Why can the form not be given with the Red Book then? As well as being freely available at the PO and online, why are the HMRC wasting £90k per year in paying Bounty to give them out.

Exactly. It should be the parent's decision as to whether or not they want Bounty involved. Full Stop.

Or, have the forms for CB and other essential info like tax credits etc, where you register the birth or even on the maternity wards themselves?

You can get them from Post Offices, for FREE, ours has them.

There is far too much pressure on mothers to take the Bounty packs and to believe that they can't possibly have a healthy baby, happy baby, or live without the vouchers etc hmm and then of course signing up to the rest, I think there's another 2 bags after the first one?

If you want one, great, take it, that's your choice. I have no beef with mothers wanting the bags, freely giving out their information - as long as they know that is what will happen

But when you refuse the pack or photo's there is just NO NEED for the hard sell and the guilt trip these Reps/MWs are putting on mums. I read somewhere up thread that a mum had asked that the Bounty Rep didn't bother her and the MW laughed her request off with a 'I'll try......' type of remark.

Reps going into the offices where the boards are with mums and babies names, beds numbers/bay numbers etc and freely looking to see who is 'new in' appals me.

They are often approaching exhausted women, some of whom have had very traumatic births, or had an unexpected CS, or other complications arise, even though they were hoping for a text book birth.

I don't think that some Reps understand the enormity of situations like that. I'm not saying all Reps are bad, pushy, won't take no for an answer, but I really don't think that they should be able to freely approach all women who have just given birth, nor be given information about new mums who have just arrived.

Especially first time or young mums, or mums with no support or even back up if a Rep is pushy.

Sunnywithshowers Sun 16-Jun-13 17:03:04

There's an interesting article in the Telegraph here about Bounty reps increasing risk of infection. There's a quote from Mumsnet too.

Just out of curiousity, does anyone know what happens with bounty and younger mums? Do they approach those under 16 and sell to them? What with them legally not being old enough to enter into a contract and all...?

tobiasfunke Sun 16-Jun-13 19:12:22

I'm in Scotland the CB form was given to me by the midwife along with the other paperwork when I was discharged.

There was a Bounty lady who gave me a small bag of nothing and in return I gave her an imaginary persons made up details. They shouldn't be allowed on postnatal wards at all but they are taking the piss by offering you an nappy and a tiny pot of sudocreme in return for all your personal details.

Gerri256 Sun 16-Jun-13 20:52:40

I absolutely agree. I am a staff member at one of the largest teaching hospitals in the UK and work very closely with the NICU unit. I am also a healthcare scientist ( a clinical photographer over 20 years experience) a member of the institute of medical illustrators. Having a sister who lost three babies at 3/4/ and 6 months the invasion by bounty was unspeakable, most hospitals have a department of clinical photography who offer bereavement photography and standard photography of neonates for FREE. Some have to charge a small fee to cover things such as inks and paper but nothing like the high street. For starters clinical photographers have studied and work in healthcare NHS, and work closely with staff and bereavement teams, therefore offer an unbeatable , patient centred service which has been undermined by commercial companies, poorly funded and the lack of communication that we exist as a profession. My sister received full sets of photographs, professionally mounted and sensitively presented) by the clinical photography department of that hospital and when she felt she could see the images.

Always ask to see if your hospital has a department such as this, it's an eye opener.

OhDearNigel Sun 16-Jun-13 21:55:47

The telegraph really seem to have got the bit between their teeth on this dont they ? With the combined power of MN, an influential Tory paper and the support of the BMJ, NCT and other medical/parenting organisations i think we may suceed in making the nhs listen smile

HoneyandPoohBear Mon 17-Jun-13 00:05:57

Gerri256 the way you handle things with the photography is how it should be. So sorry to hear about your sister, I hope she's ok. These sorts of things need to be dealt with with a lot of sensitivity.
OhDearNigel I'm not sure but I think that one of the MNters are married to someone at the telegraph which may be a reason why they have "got the bit between their teeth on this"

elliejjtiny Mon 17-Jun-13 02:03:58

I met the bounty lady for the first time 2 weeks ago when DS4 was born. After ignoring me for the first 2 days she came up to my bed and gave me a pack. She said "Hello Ellie, your baby's in nicu isn't he?". I wasn't impressed that she knew that and I wouldn't give her any more details. I felt like a leper when she was ignoring me although now I'm glad it was a couple of days before she approached me as I was off the morphine and had my wits about me by then.

Robotindisguise Mon 17-Jun-13 06:41:48

Quite aside from the intrusion, in a climate where all un-necessary expenditure is being cut there is no reason at all why HMRC are paying for the CB form to be distributed. With both children I was given a pile of leaflets on discharge from hospital, from domestic violence helplines to postnatal exercise to spotting meningitis. There is no reason at all why the CB form couldn't be among them.

Xenia Mon 17-Jun-13 09:59:48

Yes, why should HMRC pay £90k for Bounty to distribute CB leaflets. From the state's point of view the fewer people who claim the better and if people cannot be bothered to get a form from the post office or download it then they don't deserve the benefit.

ellie, that's awful. If that happens to anyone else say "How do you know my baby is in nicu". Mind you I suppose if a new mother is in bed and her child is not there is a pretty easy guess that that is where the baby is.

(I suspect Bounty do comply with data protection law in most cases although the odd rep may not be complying but might be worth sending some real cases to the ICO where Bounty staff have been given details of mothers who gave birth from the office on the ward without the mother's explicit consent rather than just being allowed into a ward to ask mothers if they want a photo taken and if the mother wants to choose to give them her data).

I thought for a minute I was going to agree with you Xenia grin

I agree HMRC shouldn't be paying Bounty 70k to distribute CB forms - but I think as someone else said they could easily be given out with, or even be contained within, the red baby development books ? I wouldn't want any new Mums to be missing out on the benefits they're entitled to hmm

Oh, and it's 90k is it ?
Ridiculous !

Of course, noone has even mentioned yet the fact that nowerdays, everyone isnt automatically entitled to CB anyway, so there's definitely no need for the form to be given out automatically to every new mother!

ParsingFancy Mon 17-Jun-13 10:21:32

"I suspect Bounty do comply with data protection law in most cases"

Why do you suspect that, Xenia?

SevenReasonsToSmile Mon 17-Jun-13 11:14:07

When I had DC3 the bounty actually woke up one lady on the ward. Her baby had been crying for most of the night, I'd have been fuming!

Xenia Mon 17-Jun-13 11:49:51

I supect that because they will have solicitors advising on their data collection. Because what mumsnetters have said that in most cases people are asked before photos are taken. because you are asked for your data and can refuse rather than hospitals handing it to bounty without asking you. The main data protection rules Bounty seem full compliant with. I think if there are mistakes it will be an occasional bounty rep breaking their own rules (photo without permission etc).

It sounds more like a moral issue - that we should not be letting them in these wards.

When it comes to the CB form the bounty rep handed me the pack and just said "oh and your cb form is in there as well" I found it handy as personally I wanted to to do it ASAP considering i was in hospital for nearly a week but even so when I got out of hospital and my midwife came to visit me she too had a CB form with her. i think maybe they put it in the bounty packs incase you are in there for a long time as doesn't it have a time limit or something for the back pay?? I do however think that reps shouldn't use this as some sort of blackmail. Even though I have had a good experience with bounty reps I do strongly disagree with them paying bounty all that money when we could be saving it....only trouble is what about peoples jobs wouldn't it make all those reps needing to go to JSA if the government stop funding them?

Maybe we should take further action and have on street protests?

alaskanbaby Mon 17-Jun-13 13:37:03

I was thinking of putting a sign up on the end of my bed, "No Bounty photo" to stop them hassling me - is that a way to take the campaign into hospitals? It would make new mums who've never heard of the problem at least aware that they have a choice.

SuffolkNWhat Mon 17-Jun-13 15:00:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SuffolkNWhat Mon 17-Jun-13 15:00:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

emsyj Mon 17-Jun-13 17:49:08

I think to assume that Bounty are largely compliant with Data Protection law simply because they're a big company is a little bit naive. When I was pregnant with my first baby, I was given a copy of a 'current' maternity policy by my employer - a large national law firm - and it was completely out of date. Even when I told them which parts were not compliant with the current law, it still took a number of meetings and eventually a report to the head of the employment law team to get them to admit it was wrong.

I now work for a government department and am having a similar issue with them, in that they are not funding non-cash benefits that are offered on a salary sacrifice basis to me whilst I'm on maternity leave - despite the fact that this is contrary to their own published guidance! hmm There are a lot of stupid people out there and even big organisations get it wrong.

Bogeyface Mon 17-Jun-13 17:54:57

Also to assume that Bounty are compliant with DP law assumes that every single one of their employees are following the letter of the law. Posts on this thread alone have highlighted cases where they overstep the mark. Looking at the admissions board, as mentioned above, must surely be wrong. Not least because there will always be women in danger due to DV issues for example, do Bounty employees sign any sort of confidentiality agreement before being allowed on the wards or does the NHS assume that this is all dealt with (or not) by Bounty?

The Telegraph report points out that Bounty ladies are employed on a commission-only basis.

Two thoughts: they shouldn't want to waste even ten seconds of their time on someone who is sufficiently anti to put a "no bounty" sign on the door/bedfoot/curtain; I'm not surprised some of them use desperate and illegal/immoral tactics if making a sale means that much to them.

Mouseface Tue 18-Jun-13 20:49:51

Gerri - I'm so very sorry to read about your sister sad xx

My friend has a picture of her son, they lost him at 23+2 weeks gestation. The fully qualified and trained member of staff dressed and photographed him in his own clothes, with his 'my first teddy' bear, in the blanket that her mother had knitted, in the most beautiful and sensitive manner possibly imaginable in those circumstances.

And yes, because she had technically given birth, and was on the maternity ward, (although the birth was not live), Bounty still approached her. More than once as two different reps came onto the ward, one in the morning and a different one in the afternoon.


Why are these things able to happen? Why are there no stricter measures in place? It makes my blood boil it really does. But maybe that's due to my own and my friend's experience?

<sits on hands before she rants anymore>

I was in our A/N unit today. They have Bounty posters on the walls saying "hey, why not join the Bounty club now?". Posters in eg ultrasound waiting room.

I have a clinic appointment on Thursday. I think I should mention it.

Bogeyface Tue 18-Jun-13 21:17:32

Part of the problem is staffing levels. When there are not enough midwives to give even basic care (anyone else read about how many women are turned away in labour because of not enough staff? Was in the papers yesterday I think), then there are not enough staff to make sure that vulnerable women are protected.

I know that most midwives would be utterly horrified at a bereaved mother being approached on the maternity ward, and yet because they are rushed off their feet, are often not around in order to stop it happening.

This also comes back to data protection. A bounty rep should not be able to wander around unsupervised, or look at info boards. They should be provided with a list of women who have AGREED to have a rep visit them. Perhaps it could be part of the green notes where a tick box is filled (or not) and then forms part of the care plan for that woman. In the event of a still birth then the woman would immediately deemed as not agreeing.

Mouseface Tue 18-Jun-13 21:44:42

Bogey - one of my friends who has a 6 day old DS (he's uber cute!!) was told "NOT TO COME IN BECAUSE THEY WERE TOOOOOOOOO BUSY!!!"

She'd already waited until the contractions were 2/3 mins apart because she KNEW the drill and that they'd say that!!

She went in and said - deliver this baby here or find me a bed, he's on his way!

notcitrus Tue 18-Jun-13 21:54:05

Apart from data protection, is there not an issue of informed consent to what is happening to women while the responsibility of the NHS?

If I'm trapped in a hospital bed via drip and catheter, and someone who has been let in starts asking questions in order to carry out a procedure (whether stitching, offering meds, or in order to give me bumf and sell the answers to those questions), does the hospital not have a duty to ensure informed consent?

Given all the extra guidelines for 'vulnerable populations' when it comes to seeking informed consent to participate in research trials (anyone who may have perceived pressure upon them is deemed vulnerable, most notably prisoners, so I'd expect hospitalised mothers to count too), data miners ought to meet similar criteria when seeking consent.

Back to data protection: data holders are only allowed to store data 'for the purpose for which it has been collected'. If they are telling women that they are providing details in order to access a pack and CB form, then they shouldn't be able to sell it on at all. So I wonder what the forms say on them - presumably 'tick here if you don't want to receive offers from carefully-selected [sic] companies', but as the women in my bay seemed to be having theirs filled in for them, that sounds dodgy too.

Finally, the dinky pots of Sudocrem can be acquired in packs of 5 for about £3 on Ebay. smile

johnwomer Wed 19-Jun-13 09:13:35

Marketing at Raigmore Hospital: reply from NHS Highland

Thank you for writing to NHS Highland about the Bounty service that has been operating in Raigmore Hospital for some years now. I understand from the Maternity Unit that most mothers appreciate the service, which is offered in other hospitals in Scotland besides Raigmore. The staff who come into the hospital to take the photographs do so under strict protocols so that they should not be causing the mothers any problems, so I am sorry to hear that your contact was distressed by her experience. I have raised this with the Maternity Unit staff who are looking into their arrangements with the staff to ensure that the points you raise are appropriately covered in the contract with the service.

I have also asked for a review of the contract as a whole, in view of NHS Highland?s commitment to the UNICEF standards for the Baby Friendly Initiative. I will write to you again when that review is complete with the outcome.

Yours sincerely

Dr Margaret Somerville
Director of Public Health and Health Policy

That last bit is good. Most hospitals/maternity units are very concerned about their baby friendly status.

EglantinePrice Wed 19-Jun-13 16:26:09

This line is interesting

^ I understand from the Maternity Unit that most mothers appreciate the service^

I wonder what precisely this means..? They have carried out a comprehensive survey or they just asked the midwife on duty one evening?

EglantinePrice Wed 19-Jun-13 16:26:54

ooh sorry italics fail...

I understand from the Maternity Unit that most mothers appreciate the service

RedToothBrush Wed 19-Jun-13 18:03:35

^ I understand from the Maternity Unit that most mothers appreciate the service^

So what about the 17000 signatories to the petition to or the responses to the MN survey? Do they count for nothing? Why are they not questioning their methodology behind this?

The funny thing is, that in the FOI requests I made a couple of the hospitals said similar things. However it was clear that at least one of them, got this information not from the Maternity unit - but from Bounty themselves!

In answer to:
^26) If so, how does the Trust ensure that the best interests of
patients are not being compromised?^

Central Manchester University Hospital responded with:

Please see responses to previous questions. Our customers have informed us that Bounty provides us with a service they welcome.

I find this utterly utterly appalling and wanted to repeat it for anyone who didn't see it first time round. This is an OFFICIAL response from the hospital remember.

I really hope this gets picked up by the media, just to show up how bad the relationship and how blurred the boundaries between the NHS and Bounty are. Its a totally unacceptable response

(If I get a minute over the next week or so, after MN starting a proper complaint about this, I will try and follow up my FOI stuff with a letter. I simply haven't had time since this the campaign started)

Plus, lets be honest about all this. The midwives are supposed to pass on complaints, but given the nature of the situation is this being done?

We have to remember the massive conflict of interest going on here:
University Hospital of South Manchester replied to the same question posed to CMUH with:
26) If so, how does the Trust ensure that the best interests of patients are not being compromised?
The payments are used to support the patient stay.
That doesn't really answer the question, and really avoids a massive part of the debate - is it fine to compromise the best interests of patients if you are getting money for other aspects of their care?

It ignores whether women make a complaint in the first place; because they have other things to worry about or don't think they have a valid complaint, or because its only in hindsight when they are for want of a better phrase 'a little bit more with it' (many woman have said that they only thought about it after being discharged from hospital on these threads), or because woman feel somehow pressured to say they like Bounty - maybe because they just want rid of them or don't want to discuss the reasons why they disliked them so much at that moment in time.

Or because if they make a complaint informally its not being passed on. Maybe the midwife can't be arsed to pass it on either because she doesn't want to or is overstretched (how much extra work is there in passing on an informal complaint?). Lets reflect back to the midwife who laughed at a request to stop Bounty visting or the midwife doing a guilt trip over how the hospital get a £1 for every pack...

So whose side are the midwives and the hospitals really on here? The patients or Bounty's?

I really shouldn't even need to ask this question, but I have to, and the fact I do says a lot in itself.

In the end from the evidence posted, I see little to persuade me, that its about the patients.

Well quite.

A bit like an ice cream van parking on school grounds on a hot day. The fact that several people are glad doesn't mean it isn't highly inappropriate.

I'm sure a few people in A&E would be interested in coupons off taxi fares, free Mars bars, and leaflets about physios and personal injury lawyers, but nobody would let Bounty prowl round there with a targetted pack.

EglantinePrice Wed 19-Jun-13 19:23:27

OMG - central Manchester referred to 'its customers'

Did they mean to say 'patients' or was that line taken straight from the bounty marketing brochure...?

tbh I don't care if 99% of women in an enormous survey did welcome the service. Its inappropriate, probably breaches confidentiality and sometimes is deeply upsetting for women who are vulnerable or even bereaved.

This 'service' is unprecedented in the NHS. Where else would people stand for it?

EglantinePrice Wed 19-Jun-13 19:26:23

Horry bounty wouldn't dare wander round A&E. People are not usually as alone and vulnerable and generally can walk away.

Many women don't have that option in an antenatal ward.

RedToothBrush Wed 19-Jun-13 19:37:30

Did they mean to say 'patients' or was that line taken straight from the bounty marketing brochure...?

Does it matter which? The point remains the same.