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Bounty Mutiny campaign: we're off to meet the Minister for Health...

(167 Posts)
RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 17-Mar-14 14:43:50


Hopefully most of you will know about Mumsnet's Bounty Mutiny campaign, which asks for commercial sales reps to be kept off hospital maternity wards.

We just wanted to let you know that a meeting has been arranged between Justine and Dr Daniel Poulter, Conservative MP and minister for the relevant part of the Department of Health.

Dr Poulter has expressed concern about this issue in the past, saying in a letter to NHS Trusts,

"I am asking you to review your practices for allowing representatives from private companies on maternity wards to assure yourselves that you are maintaining women’s dignity and respect shortly after the birth of a baby when they can be tired and vulnerable."

So we're looking forward to discussing the campaign with him and seeing what he has to say. We'll update you here to let you know how it went.

YoniMatopoeia Mon 17-Mar-14 16:47:32

Go Mumsnet!

MaryWestmacott Tue 18-Mar-14 09:39:19

Great news, thank you!

Can you point out that the one plus side for bounty staff, that they hand out child benefit forms, could be easily fixed by just putting the child benefit forms in with the red books? Or when you register the birth and are given half a tree's worth of paper a lot of leaflets, they could give the form then.

The Child Benefit forms should not be used as an excuse to keep them, esp as CB isn't a universal benefit anymore.

IceBeing Tue 18-Mar-14 09:43:10

That is good. I think I will spam my local hospital again as they promised to 'review' and then never got back to me.

CyberMuddle Tue 18-Mar-14 09:46:22

Great news! I'm due to give birth to DC1 any time in the next couple of weeks, and am genuinely nervous about the prospect of having to fend off some pushy sales rep-type just when I'm likely to be least able to do so.

FabBakerGirl Tue 18-Mar-14 10:35:14

I have read the stories on here and I am horrified at what some of the reps have put some new mums through. I only recall one Bounty visitor and she just said "here" giving me a bag and walked off. An hello would have been nice hmm.

Hippymama Tue 18-Mar-14 10:55:29

I'm due to give birth in the next few weeks and the more I think about bounty reps being allowed on the wards, the more it infuriates me. I was "lucky" not to have a pushy rep, but it still think they have no part on a maternity ward full of ladies at one of the most vulnerable times in their life.

I also think it is wrong that they have open access to the wards when members of our own families are not allowed to do the same. When the bounty rep came round after the birth of my first dc I was alone on the ward as it was outside visiting hours. My own family who had travelled over 90 miles to see me and my baby were waiting outside (not allowed in yet) as was my husband, yet the bounty rep was allowed to come in the ward? Completely wrong.

There is NO reason at all that they need to be there. The only "reason" in their defence would be the CB forms, but these could easily be given out with the red books. Official government forms should not be given out with marketing and promotional materials, especially as it makes it look like these companies are endorsed by the government.

projectbabyweight Tue 18-Mar-14 11:32:31

Completely agree with hippy. Best of luck Justine!

tribpot Tue 18-Mar-14 11:41:30

Not 'just' dignity and respect, although of course these are paramount. There is another thread on MN at the moment from someone whose personal details were clearly harvested by a Bounty rep from patient info which is necessarily readily available on the ward - the front of a chart, the whiteboard with the bed allocations, wristbands and so on.

Trusts have a duty of confidentiality which I cannot believe is compatible with having strangers on the ward who are not involved in patient care. Likewise a responsibility for physical security.

RedToothBrush Tue 18-Mar-14 11:41:33

This is awesome news! Hope it goes well!

SuffolkNWhat Tue 18-Mar-14 11:42:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bobthebuddha Tue 18-Mar-14 11:53:02

tribpot, Dr Poulter also expressed data harvesting concerns in his letter;

"Whilst it is beneficial to have accessible information available to women at a time when they are responsive to messaging... (he's referring to jabs, car seat info,CB etc here).... I am sure you will agree that it is unacceptable for parenting support organisations including Bounty to use this as an opportunity to collect private data and share it without the express informed consent of the parents."

Great to see someone in government taking this seriously. Hope the meeting goes well.

SuffolkNWhat Tue 18-Mar-14 11:59:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DinoSnores Tue 18-Mar-14 12:20:46

Great! Hope he really does take you seriously rather than this just being for show on his part.

MissRatty Tue 18-Mar-14 12:24:33

Plus the CB forms are available online...

Go peeps! Let's get rid of these vultures...I myself had a dreadful experience with them...not me personally, but I saw a woman who was totally out of it was coerced into giving her details and because she couldn't yet hold her child, saw the Bounty rep prop it up next to her and start snapping away.

PurplePidjin Tue 18-Mar-14 12:31:07

I didn't get a Bounty pack at all (no reps on our wards, hurrah!) but having to find out how to claim CB etc was just yet another PITA job I had to do with a new born. So there definitely needs to be a clearer and more reliable way to distribute them!

minipie Tue 18-Mar-14 12:49:13

Good progress! I really hope the reps get banned and not just asked to behave better. Maternity wards are overcrowded enough without unnecessary extra bodies bringing in germs and using the loos. There are sooo many other opportunities to give out the CB form.

While you are at it, please can you also mention the current practice of midwives signing women up to Bounty at their first antenatal appointment (the booking in appointment)?

I was asked by the midwife to fill out the Bounty form when I went for my first appt at about 10 weeks pregnant. I filled it out, because I was being asked by the midwife and I assumed it was an official hospital thing. Only later did I realise it was nothing to do with the hospital and I'd just signed myself up to a load of junk mail.

Why is precious , overstretched midwife time being taken up with furthering the interests of a commercial organisation angry?

parakeet Tue 18-Mar-14 13:27:52

Probably because the midwife gets some kind of a benefit out of doing so. Even if it's just a contribution towards the staff Christmas lunch.

RedToothBrush Tue 18-Mar-14 13:33:40

While you are at it, please can you also mention the current practice of midwives signing women up to Bounty at their first antenatal appointment (the booking in appointment)?

I've recently had mine, and even though I'm slightly nuts about this subject, when it came to the midwife handing over the pack I couldn't refuse and glanced at DH not to say anything as I was too embarrassed/not assertive enough to say no.

Fortunately, DH ignored my pleading look and politely declined the pack much to the midwifes surprise. She did ask why we refused, and DH just said that we strongly disagree with how Bounty operated. (Proud moment! I'm so glad DH has realised how I felt and how important this is to me). She had to remove the hospitals official stuff from the pack which had already been put in.

I wasn't asked to fill in anything though. TBH I'm slightly worried this has been done on my behalf automatically, as you weren't asked if you wanted one, it was assumed you would simply take one without question. There was also not one word about Bounty not being in any way associated with the hospital.

Because of this way the midwife tried to give it to us, I did feel under enormous pressure to take it. If you didn't know who Bounty were, from the word go, you could be under the impression that they were therefore endorsed by the NHS. Its just not appropriate for anyone wearing an NHS uniform to be giving them out - especially if they are not stating who Bounty are.

I suffer from severe anxiety as it is (which came up in the appointment and how I found it difficult to express my wishes at times as a result. I had been referred to Mental Health support and seen someone prior to getting pregnant because of my problems). Yet I was still given commercial information in these circumstances despite this. Whilst this isn't as bad as being on a post-natal ward, I don't really think its good practice when you are fully aware that a patient has particular issues which you have discussed not minutes previously.

My own reaction actually shook me up quite a lot and took me by surprise despite being so anti-Bounty and being so aware of how they work. I had made such a fuss beforehand that I wouldn't have one, then just crumbled. I don't hold any hope out of me being able to decline Bounty if they visit me on the ward... (though hopefully due to my circumstances this will be well covered in advance and not be an issue).

DH, despite me having gone on about the subject for so long, was completely stunned at how it actually played out. He was quite taken back by the whole process and how official it was, and how it was piggybacked with important information. He did say he felt quite ambushed himself and found it hard to stick up for me, especially when I clearly felt under pressure to accept because of the situation.

BTW Suffolk, thanks for your kind words smile, but I think there are plenty of other women who have done loads on this.

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 18-Mar-14 13:59:17

Hi all,
So we had a full and frank meeting with health minister, Dan Poulter, during which the Minister agreed that the key issue was to protect women from undue harassment and invasion of privacy at a vulnerable time. As he said: "We have got to get to the point that nothing detrimental takes place on maternity wards to compromise the dignity and quality of women's care."

Dan Poulter agreed to the following actions:

1. To develop clear guidelines for individual NHS trusts on what constitutes good and bad practice and what can and cannot take place on maternity wards with regards to sales reps. The intention is to produce this (possibly in conjunction with the Care Quality Commission (CQC)) by this Summer and to share an initial draft in 2-3 weeks.

2. To write to Professor Sir Mike Richards, Chief Inspector of Hospitals, to ensure that the CQC undertake inspections on this specific issue, and to outline their plans for ongoing monitoring.

3. To write to NHS Trusts where Mumsnetters have shared examples of bad practice. (So please do let us know if you've had a bad experience with Bounty reps in your hospital, either on the boards or by mailing us at, so we can pass them on to the Minister.)

Thanks for all your input, please do share this news and we will keep you updated with any further developments #bountymutiny

bassingtonffrench Tue 18-Mar-14 14:31:16

i am really grateful you are doing this.

my bounty rep was pleasant but she woke me up. I had been in labour for three days and had not slept in that time. So I was pretty annoyed about that!

I am genuinely concerned about meeting bounty again after my next birth.

hunreeeal Tue 18-Mar-14 14:47:06

Well done and thank you MN!


BeCool Tue 18-Mar-14 14:47:45

it's the data collection I object to.

If a Bounty Rep wants to hand me a bag of samples etc on my way out the door of the maternity ward, no problem. However they can do this without having free reign of the wards.

Sneaking up on me with an air of authority and a 'right to be there', asking for my private details to add to a database to later SPAM me - completely not on.

PourMeSomethingStronger Tue 18-Mar-14 14:56:34

Well done MN. Sounds like a step in the right direction. As BeCool says. It's the data collection at a very vulnerable time that is the main issue.

CountessOfRule Tue 18-Mar-14 16:04:07

yy to sneaky data collection, wearing tunics so they look like hospital staff. Deliberately misleading.

hunreeeal Tue 18-Mar-14 16:12:17

It was the repeated interruptions, bossy/indignant tone and lack of privacy which bothered me.

isisisis Tue 18-Mar-14 16:22:27

We'll done Mumsnet. Due to your campaign I knew to turn them away when I had DD in the summer, but I was the only person on a giant post natal ward to do so. As a healthcare professional I object to them having access to women at a vulnerable time with they're stupid sales pitch. We don't allow sales reps free reign on orthopaedics or cardiology so why is maternity different?

PigletJohn Tue 18-Mar-14 16:26:31

but surely somebody is getting a backhander for allowing this sales and marketing to happen. Is it the hospital? or the trust? or the staff?

minipie Tue 18-Mar-14 16:36:32

Hmm, I think the "bad practice" is having them there at all TBH.

I'm not sure how they could operate in a way that is "good practice". Perhaps if they literally sit quietly on a chair with a sign saying "sign up for spam if you want to". And they don't use the loos or any other hospital resources. Seems unlikely though.

I think they need to be banned, altogether.

Piglet I assumed so too but it all seems a bit opaque. If they really do give money to benefit the hospital I assume they would already have said so as a reason to be allowed to stay?

SometimesLonely Tue 18-Mar-14 16:49:49

As others have said, why are they (non-medical staff) allowed on the wards when family visitors are not?

isisisis Tue 18-Mar-14 16:54:17

As others have said, why are they (non-medical staff) allowed on the wards when family visitors are not?

So they can take a photo to prevent your baby being stolen apparently. hmm

NotCitrus Tue 18-Mar-14 17:13:40

Good progress MN!

For every other benefit, the onus is on the person to find forms themselves, so there's no reason for CB forms to be distributed this way - or conversely, they could be simply available on the ward along with the piles of other bumf.

Well done mumsnet.

Some of the bounty ladies are lovely, and really nice to the mums on the ward. I knew one who only did the job because she loves babies and never tried to push anyone - I think she'd have done it unpaid if it meant she could be around so many babies every time she went to work!

But sadly the tactics of the company and a lot of its reps have shown Bounty for what it really is. A cynical marketing company preying on people at a very vulnerable time.

Banning them, and any other reps, from hospital wards, is long overdue.

HectorVector Tue 18-Mar-14 17:18:31

To this day I have no idea how bounty got my information. When they tried to obtain it 3 times, twice after birth and once after we had been readmitted to the SCBU I sent them packing. Despite their protests that I had to give them my details else I wouldn't be able to claim child benefit. Yet get my details they did. I have tried to get off their email list 7 times, all without success, I still get all their spam despite DS being 4 this year. If I delete one more email about potty training I think I'll explode, he's been potty trained for 2 years now.

What annoys me most is that after a long induction and and emergency c section my DS was born early in the evening. DH got to spend 1 hour with us before the midwives asked him to leave because visitors including dads (unless woman was in labour) had to leave at 8pm. Yet at 8:30pm (yes 8:30pm - what hours do these people work?) some woman plonks herself on my bed and starts cooing over my baby whilst trying to get my details from me. Grrrrrrr!

I think they should be banned altogether. They don't allow other 'representives' into other wards or departments, so why maternity.

Justgotosleepnow Tue 18-Mar-14 17:23:11

Brilliant brilliant brilliant!
Go mumsnet!

Yes to CB forms being given out at registering the birth, and no cost to the HMRC as they are already a govt dept. At the moment HMRC pay bounty to distribute the forms.

I still think Bounty should not be allowed on post natal wards AT ALL. And your antenatal notes should not come in a Bounty folder.

Is Screwfix going to be on the Orthopedic wards next? shock
Flights to Switzerland on the geriatric wards? confused
Same difference

It's not what's happened to me so much, but what has happened to others that makes me mad angry

Prediction .... There will be no Bounty reps on wards this time next year - once hospitals and the CTC realise how much upset and distress is caused, and that they are sooo much more trouble than they're worth.

Anyone can take a cute pic of baby these days with their digital cameras, or even their mobile!
It's unbelievable that they've snuck under the radar for so many years.

Start from first principals ... are they a support to new mothers and their babies on post-natal wards? What sort of supportive culture would be good for mothers on the wards? How do we go about achieving that?

Justgotosleepnow Tue 18-Mar-14 17:26:44

Er how about bf support on post natal wards instead?
Like, actually helpful.

Exactly Justgo - I know it's a somewhat radical opinion but I think Bounty are there to undermine breastfeeding through promotion of alternative nutrition including formula to babies. In the first few days the emphasis should be on supporting breastfeeding wherever possible.

I'm pretty sure that on the Bounty parenting website posts which are at all negative about formula feeding are deleted? IIRC

RedToothBrush Tue 18-Mar-14 17:47:31

Not just that. How can you have an environment which is pro-women, when you treat women as something to be exploited and it is fine to deny them privacy and dignity as you do this?

It hits at the heart of the culture on maternity wards as not being important and to put up and shut up.

I don't think this is necessarily just about Bounty as such, but also about overturning a poor attitude to maternity and women in general. It provides stepping stones to start demanding more and for women to start seeing that they don't have to put up with the status quo. It is somewhat empowering in that sense.

CloverHeart Tue 18-Mar-14 17:58:18

Well done MN - very pleased to be a part of this change. I recently heard of a lady having a very negative experience in our local hospital that could very well have been avoided had her wishes to not allow a complete stranger burst into her room and take photos weren't ignored.

I am passing the details on to her so she can get in touch with you with her story :D

londonlivvy Tue 18-Mar-14 18:07:41

bravo mumsnet!

After a 48 hour back to back labour, ending with ventouse, I was exhausted and battered. It was the morning after that the bounty rep came in and asked for my details. it sounded official so I handed them over. I didn't realise I'd be spammed. naive, I know.

Worse, though, she tried to persuade me to pay her to create a cast of dd's feet. um, I'm not sure. I said. maybe tomorrow. "they won't be the same tomorrow, don't you want to remember this moment? "

fecking guilt tripping me.

and no, I didn't (and still don't) want to remember that horrific time of agony, exhaustion, loneliness and despair.

bloody bounty. May they be banished. I'd rather have had a rep from the Samaritans.

Ah, glad to see you're back on this thread RedToothBrush - I always find myself agreeing with everything you say on this subject

This makes me so glad I had three home births. I've never received a Bounty pack. My midwives bought me the child benefit form on their first check up.

HowAboutNo Tue 18-Mar-14 18:13:11

I am worried about this - I really don't want to have to be a bitch to anyone but I can feel that I will lose my shit about this if I feel that they are rude/forceful/won't listen. I know they operate in the hospital that I'll be giving birth in, as a friend has just had her baby and had the photos taken. I've fortunately had no interaction with this company so far - I don't have the folder thing that all the other mums put their notes in as I was never offered one and I'd like to keep it that way.

It shouldn't be allowed.

wrapsuperstar Tue 18-Mar-14 18:21:07

RedToothbrush, what an absolutely spot on post. I nodded to myself as I read it -- this is why Bounty needs to permanently GTFO of maternity wards and leave new mothers and their babies alone. I think it is a disgrace and I commend mumsnet for this campaign.

confuddledDOTcom Tue 18-Mar-14 18:21:11

It's not about how well behaved they are, I hope Dan realises that. They shouldn't be allowed on the ward, they don't necessarily have to be kicked out of the hospital but they shouldn't be wandering around the wards and staff shouldn't be plugging them.

We do get our CB forms here when you register a birth. But in Scotland we only have six weeks. I know it's longer elsewhere.

CountessOfRule Tue 18-Mar-14 18:44:16

I thought it was three weeks in Scotland and six in England?

Yes you are right 21 days is three weeks, it's been a long day wine my point is maybe because Scotland has a shorter time they think it's better to issue at registration! when in England Wales etc six weeks is maybe too long to wait.

Although, I may have done mine online............?

NicNak71 Tue 18-Mar-14 18:53:19

It took us many many years and lots of failed Ivf to finally get pregnant. Like lots of other women, I signed up to the Bounty website, it felt like a right of passage- finally I was able to do what other women were doing.

Unfortunately our baby was still born. I came back into the ward to find a Bounty newborn pack waiting for me. I was distraught, it was like rubbing salt into the wounds. The midwives put me in a private room that night and the next day the Bounty woman came into the room to check I'd got my pack, it was horrendous.

To make matters worse, they continued to email me the weekly baby development emails, despite the fact that I'd removed my baby from my profile on their website and cancelled the emails. I emailed them and told them to stop sending me stuff, I deleted my account. They emailed and apologised, but still sent the feckin development emails!

Eventually, after emailing them again and demanding they remove me from their lists, they stopped.

However, out of the blue, last year, they started up again. I'm now getting emails about your 5year olds development and starting school! I know it's been 5 years since we lost our baby and we have now been blessed with 2 children, but those emails are like a dagger through my heart, each one a constant reminder of what I lost.

To think. Once upon a time, I lamented the fact that I couldn't join Bounty like all my pregnant friends, now I can't get bloody rid of them and their insensitivity is astonishing.

PenguinsEatSpinach Tue 18-Mar-14 19:01:52

Yes, totally agree with RedToothBrush. In what woman supporting, respectful environment will it ever be ok to market to women in that situation? Do we allow commercial reps to roam other wards marketing their products?

My first child was born in 2009. I had missed three consecutive nights of sleep by the time she was born. Unfortunately, I transferred to post natal around 7am, which meant it was already a busy 'day' place to be. Having a Bounty rep pulling back my curtain and waving a pack at me whilst taking my details was not particularly helpful to my already very limited rest. Thankfully, I was so sleep addled that I unintentionally gave her a non-existent email address (or someone else has had their crap for the last five years) grin

tribpot Tue 18-Mar-14 19:13:15

NicNak, very sorry about your loss.

I can't help but think the Information Commissioner's Office would be interested to hear about the many examples of blatant disregard for data protection principles that have been disclosed on this thread alone.

PenguinsEatSpinach Tue 18-Mar-14 19:17:41

NicNak - We cross posted. So sorry for your loss. That is utterly, utterly awful. Data matters doesn't it. It isn't just some minor inconvenience the way it is often portrayed. It can cause real and lasting damage and pain.

Mrsbapandbabies Tue 18-Mar-14 19:19:19

Bounty is so intertwined with the NHS it's scary. They must be paying the hospitals a fair amount of money! I had no idea they used your personal details for evil after DC1 and was actually suprised when the phone calls started.

I'm a paediatric nurse and when a child dies we actually inform bounty so they stop sending things to the parents. I think that's horrendous.

RedToothBrush Tue 18-Mar-14 19:21:23

tribpot, the problem is you can't just complain to the ICO straight off. You have to go through the process of complaining to the company concerned first and then them if the response is unsatisfactory. Given that women don't complain to hospitals due to the timing and having so much on their hands anyway, they are even less likely to complain to Bounty direct (especially because they are so disillusioned and exploited through the interaction they had already had).

tribpot Tue 18-Mar-14 19:28:51

I agree, RedToothBrush. I haven't made a complaint to my local hospital about a much less traumatic period of care last year - because I just don't see the point.

Interestingly on the kickback front, I googled NHS + Bounty and one of the first documents I came across was this report to the Board of the West Suffolk Hospital - which coincidentally was where ds was born, although I have no memory of any interaction with Bounty. The kickback takes the form of a payment per photo set flogged (capped at 5% of all births).

I would imagine the clear guidelines Dr Poulter has promised will not be dissimilar to the guidelines already in place at the West Suffolk - which fail to address the fact these people (all women, according to the report) have no bloody business being on the ward in the first place.

I'm so sorry NicNik sad

Posts like yours make me wish our campaign could move away from it's perhaps understandable focus on what was our own experience of Bounty reps on the wards, and look at the bigger picture.

The interaction with Bounty personnel on hospital wards is clearly beyond awful for some women, even if for many it will be merely irritating.

tribpot Tue 18-Mar-14 19:34:19

NHS Lothian responded to an FOI request to confirm they received £1/birth (total of £9,800 in 2013) and that Bounty fund a guide to breastfeeding.

tribpot Tue 18-Mar-14 19:41:28

NHS Grampian noted the income is paid to endowment funds and thus declined to answer their FOI question on that matter.

RedToothBrush Tue 18-Mar-14 19:51:55

I think the idea of the CQC monitoring things is a big step forward though tribpot. So although you are concerned that there are already guidelines in place, and that they don't seem to be effective I think there will be more accountability. This is currently the problem.

And as you say, you didn't see the point in many a complaint. I think the reasons about why you didn't see the point and why you felt you would be ignored are the key here.

By making it clear that the CQC has jurisdiction it means that you are not just complaining to the hospital which has a vested financial interest and therefore conflict of interest in dealing with your complaint. The hospital will be accountable for how they handle those complaints in a way they haven't been previously. It also legitimises women's complaints by making it very clear that this behaviour goes against the duty of care of hospitals and is monitored. Hopefully meaning that women feel that their complaint is a 'valid' one and one that will be taken more seriously than previously - and will encourage them to make them.

It does actually put privacy and dignity on maternity wards in general, more on the map. It does shine a spotlight on what standards are unacceptable across the board.

It doesn't go perhaps as far as I personally would like, but I do think its a positive move.

PigletJohn Tue 18-Mar-14 19:53:19

"There are no complaints logged on the Complaints Module of Datix (NHS Lothian’s Risk Management System) in relation the activities of Bounty staff. However, due to recent interest (June/July 2013) we have had a total of seven enquiries/concerns from members of the public and one MSP all requesting that NHS Lothian reviews its position with Bounty"

That suggests to me that anyone wishing to make a complaint should do it in writing, with a subject "Formal Complaint about Bounty" at the top of the letter, otherwise you may be recorded as an "enquiry"

confuddledDOTcom Tue 18-Mar-14 19:53:44

NicNak, have you tried the Baby Preference Service? It's part of Telephone Preference Service (where you stop people from cold calling you) and it blocks your details from all baby lists. It's so good that I had to keep signing up to the Boots club when I was pregnant again because I was removed from the list every time I did.

I'm really hoping Dan isn't going to miss the point, it seems we're all waiting on that.

Jux Tue 18-Mar-14 20:01:21

Well done MN.

I do think they should be banned, but a compromise would be letting them leave a nice goody bag, with their web address. They could send more goodies if you provide them with your details once you've visited the site.

I have no idea whether they were around when I had dd. I wasn't at my local hospital (I was on holiday), had dd around midnight and left the hospital before midday. I'm sure that I would have believed anything I was told if one had been about and nabbed me before I left. I was in no state to make sensible decisions.

tribpot Tue 18-Mar-14 20:02:06

I agree, Red - it's definitely an improvement on the current situation. I would like to see how CQC intend to monitor and enforce standards effectively. Which they are supposed to do in due course.

I am still very concerned about the data collection issue, though, and I'd like to see each Trust provide evidence of the information governance assessment that led them to conclude there was no risk of data loss in having a person paid by the number of people's details he or she can collect (if that is the case) on the wards.

NicNak71 Tue 18-Mar-14 20:23:03

Thank you everyone, it was a dreadful time. I remember being in the room and my hubby had gone for coffee, so I was alone with our baby. I had him wrapped in a blanket and I was holding him, the door burst open and this frantic bouncy woman leapt into the room.

She started prattling about this Bounty pack and that the photographer was in the main ward and would come to me when she was done in there. She then made a move towards me and started asking what I'd had, could she see the baby. I don't remember what I said, I just knew there was no way this creature was looking at my baby, I can remember being in a panic and not knowing what to do. I was crying and getting a bit hysterical when the midwife came in and threw her out. It was really horrendous.

In hindsight, I should have made a formal complaint, but this was my first baby, I was trying to come to terms with the fact that we wouldn't be leaving that hospital as new parents, we would be organising a funeral. By the time I was in the right frame of mind to even think about it, it seemed pointless to me, as I felt I'd left it too long.

I definitely think this campaign will make a huge difference and give us all better privacy and protection in the future.

ConfuddledDOTcom, thank you for that, I didn't realise there was a baby preference service. I'm going to give it a go now, lets hope I can finally be rid of Bounty smile

SuffolkNWhat Tue 18-Mar-14 20:29:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mnippy Tue 18-Mar-14 20:47:44

I also find myself agreeing wholeheartedly redtoothbrush. As always.

KatieMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 18-Mar-14 21:06:22

Thank you all for your comments, and very sorry to hear so many tough stories, especially NicNak71. Dan Poulter did also say he would write to every individual NHS Trust where Mumsnetters have received poor treatment, so please do email us at with your experiences, the hospital and date, so we can pass these complaints on.

Blondieminx Tue 18-Mar-14 22:04:48

Brilliant news MNHQ thanks

Nodding along with RedToothbrush, and having the CQC inspect bounty practices on wards is a very sensible idea.

NicNac that is horrendous sad I hope the mw who ejected the bounty woman tore strips off her. Just awful.

trufflehunterthebadger Tue 18-Mar-14 23:06:37

It baffles me that, when MW posts and entire maternity departments are being cut, the government pay a commercial organisation to dole out a form when they could be given out by government employees at a variety of opportunities - in your HH notes. On discharge from maternity. At registering the birth.

Or, like all other benefits, why is the onus not on the recipient to obtain the form ? You want the £x per week, you get yourself the form

confuddledDOTcom Tue 18-Mar-14 23:17:48

They've said that they don't want us getting the form ourselves because of postage costs, it's the only benefit that most people will claim. But as you say they don't have to post it there's loads of opportunities for it.

trufflehunterthebadger Tue 18-Mar-14 23:22:30

How do postage costs come into it ? Pick it up at the post office like every single other form

tribpot Tue 18-Mar-14 23:31:26

I suspect the allocation of CB triggers all sorts of downstream processes inside HMRC and related departments, just as the allocation of an NHS number on the ward does in health. I'm quite certain the government is not that bothered about paying out CB! But it would explain why they don't want to lower the rate of uptake. I'm not sure it would though - even being handed the form you've got to fill it in and post it (no mean feat with a newborn). And arguably you would be more compos mentis if you received it whilst registering the birth.

Goldmandra Tue 18-Mar-14 23:33:54

what constitutes good and bad practice and what can and cannot take place on maternity wards with regards to sales reps.

Allowing them to be on the wards at all constitutes bad practice. No other sales reps would be enabled to carry out cold calling vulnerable new mothers in this way.

It's appalling that it hasn't been stopped already!

confuddledDOTcom Tue 18-Mar-14 23:35:31

Because they used to post it to parents before Bounty started giving it out. It's not necessary, it would make more sense for it to be given by a MW, HV or registrar.

tribpot Tue 18-Mar-14 23:42:25

HMRC wrote to me to remind me to do my tax return this year. That's it, just 'don't forget to do the return, okay?' I graciously give them permission to either email me or trust I'll remember to do my sodding tax return, and use the stamp to post out a CB form.

HMRC wrote to me at least three further times to change my tax code.

And Goldmandra, I completely agree with this: Allowing them to be on the wards at all constitutes bad practice.

RedToothBrush Tue 18-Mar-14 23:52:58

Who do you get your maternity forms from? The important ones you need for maternity/paternity leave?

SoonToBeSix Wed 19-Mar-14 08:58:51

This annoys me , I have just given birth to twins and the bounty lady was lovely. I love my free samples and am quite happy to get emailed offers from company's.

IceBeing Wed 19-Mar-14 09:04:45

soon well as long as you are happy, we should probably ignore all those people whose privacy has been violated and who are receiving emails 5 years after their children where stillborn. Coz free samples trumps dignity every day of the week...

tribpot Wed 19-Mar-14 09:10:35

I don't think anyone is trying to infringe on your right to free samples and being spammed by marketing, SoonToBeSix. If Bounty want to set up in the cafe area of every hospital in the country to give out free samples, more power to their elbow. Or in shopping centres. Or petrol stations. Or any of the gazillion other places where they can interact with members of the public, rather than inpatients in a hospital ward.

The samples are pathetic though SoonToBe - a tiny pot of sudocrem and a few vouchers for "weaning" products IIRC. A newborn nappy if you're lucky ? Totally crap IMHO

Great, you had a Bounty lady who was capable of being friendly to you with your new baby. But a visit from a family member or friend would probably have been just as nice, no? But perhaps it was outside visiting hours?

And yes, as IceBeing says we all need to think about other people's experiences with Bounty, and not just our own.

BoffinMum Wed 19-Mar-14 09:45:11

I am so sorry to hear that, NicNac. I hope she had the decency to apologise to you. Her behaviour was unspeakable.

Congratulations on your pregnancy redtoothbrush

They do not need to be on the wards. Full stop, the end.

I vaguely remember reading that my local trust (gwent) has done the recommended investigation and decided bounty are fine and can stay. hmm

Gosh niknak, just saw your second post sad

I am so so sorry for your lost and then fuming that you had shit from this company when things were hard enough x

minipie Wed 19-Mar-14 09:50:27

I want to know who benefits financially from Bounty. There must be some backhander going on or they surely would have been banned long ago.

Mumsnet can you ask please and report back?

Who do you get your maternity forms from? The important ones you need for maternity/paternity leave?

I got mine from the GP or midwife (can't recall which) at one of the antenatal appointments. CB form could easily be given at the same time.

IceBeing Wed 19-Mar-14 09:57:03

mini I know what you mean, but my first though was 'well Bounty do duh' grin

SuffolkNWhat Wed 19-Mar-14 10:27:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PetiteRaleuse Wed 19-Mar-14 10:32:09

Re: child benefit forms in both France and Luxembourg these are handed out when your pregnancy is confirmed by your GP or OB GYN. In order to be eligible for some parts of child benefit you have to attend a set number of medical checks during your pregnancy, and the forms are stamped by the HCPs who see you for these checks. Sounds overbearing but it is to ensure babies are checked regularly for in utero issues.

But that's irrelevant. I don't see why GPs and mws can't hand out these forms during pregnancy in the UK and not leave it to Bounty.

I would also be interested in seeing who benefits from Bounty financially. Who is paying money to whom and who are the shareholders / board members? Does anyone have access to that kind of information?

Forago Wed 19-Mar-14 10:55:51

NikNak your posts have bought tears to my eye - I can't believe the extra, unnecessary pain and humiliation that was heaped on you at such a terrible time - truly shocking. My father died suddenly in his early fifties and I spent a lot of time (years) stopping mail and marketing with his name on it being inflicted on my mother. For years after his death she would get herself together after a sleepless night, on her own, and come downstairs to find some marketing letter from the Halifax or someone offering him a loan (the stress of debt was a contributory factor to his heart attack), or, even worse, a phone call from some company trying to sell him something. She described it exactly as you did each time - a knife through the heart. It did eventually stop (after I sent death certificates to every company who tried to contact him). I used all the preference services but they made little difference, at the time.


Out of interest, I have 3 dc. With the first I was in hospital for 5 days but never saw a Bounty rep - bag just turned up on my bed - I guess because I was up in special care a lot with the baby. The second and third time I left in a matter of hours before they arrived in the morning. On all 3 occasions I managed to claim CB quite easily after being given the forms when registering the births. In fact it wasn't until this campaign that I realized Bounty tried to use giving out the forms as justification for their terrible intrusions.

RedToothBrush Wed 19-Mar-14 10:56:21
RedToothBrush Wed 19-Mar-14 11:01:36
SuffolkNWhat Wed 19-Mar-14 11:02:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tribpot Wed 19-Mar-14 11:03:01

Bounty pay the hospitals to be allowed to go into the wards, minipie. If you have a look at a few of my posts above, you'll see links to various board papers and letters where the amounts are specified. It isn't a huge sum in the budget of million-pound hospitals, to be honest, but this is why frankly they cannot be allowed to assess for themselves whether the Bounty services are appropriate for their patients.

Bounty are in turn paid by HMRC to distribute the CB form.

PetiteRaleuse Wed 19-Mar-14 11:03:44

Thank you, investment funds then managed by Barclays own Bounty. I wonder who the investors are, and if not individuals then who are the shareholders/directors of the investors. I assume it must be quite a successful company for investment funds to buy it at that price...

PetiteRaleuse Wed 19-Mar-14 11:05:22

From Equistone's website: The Deal

In June 2009, Equistone Partners Europe backed the management buy-out of Bounty.

Bounty is one of the UK's leading media owners and is best known for its Bounty sampling packs, which are received by 95% of new mothers in the UK. Since the 1960s the business has been both supporting parents and working with health and childcare professionals.

Bounty complements its physical presence with, one of the UK's most viewed parenting websites which provides information, support and products for young families and 2.5 million Bounty parenting club members across the UK.

Equistone viewed the strong track record of the business, the experience and credentials of the management team, and the robust business model as highly attractive.

The Future

Equistone's investment will support the further growth of the business enabling Bounty to develop and extend its proposition and backing to new mothers in the UK.

Chelvis Wed 19-Mar-14 11:06:22

I have emailed with my experiences - here's a copy of my email here, just because I want their awful practices exposed.

"My bad experience was at Salford Royal in July 2011. I had given birth about four hours previously. My birth had lasted over 24 hours and had been very physically traumatic (failed pain relief, retained placenta requiring intervention, over an hour of stitching, a substantial haemorrhage). I was sleep deprived, very distressed, in pain and felt very vulnerable.

The bounty rep opened my closed curtains as I was trying (and failing!) to breastfeed, so I was partially undressed and embarrassed. She didn't introduce herself as being from bounty, but greeted me by name and told me that she was there to 'confirm my details'. I was not made aware she was a sales rep at any stage - she had the appearance and manner of a member of clinical staff, and clearly already knew who I was (my name at least). I gave my details without full understanding or consent of what I was doing because of her misleading lack of information.

She told me that she needed to take some photographs of my daughter for 'security reasons'. After taking photos, she then tried to sell them to me. I was rather baffled and asked why I would want to buy copies of security photos. She told me that the photos would be binned if I didn't buy them and that most mothers wanted their child's first special photographs. I felt pressured and emotionally blackmailed to buy the photos - I continued to refuse, but felt quite distressed and overwhelmed. Thankfully, a member of staff (a real one, not a pretend one!) arrived to care for me and the bounty woman left.

I would like to add my wholehearted agreement to this campaign and I am happy to have my experience passed on to any interested parties. I would like to add that for my second birth, a Bolton Royal, I stated on my birth plan that I did not want bounty to visit me and this was respected. However, I do not feel that putting the onus on women to refuse sales reps is adequate. My grandfather recently had hip surgery and he didn't have to write 'no sales reps to visit' on his forms - why should I?"

I'm so sorry for the women who have lost children who still are bombarded with distressing communications. I really hope that women in the future are protected from their unfair and intrusive practices.

PetiteRaleuse Wed 19-Mar-14 11:06:38

Thanks RedToothBrush

Forago Wed 19-Mar-14 11:11:34

So, hang on, let me get this straight. HMRC pay Bounty to distribute a form to people, because they don't trust them to get the form themselves from a PO or online, or indeed that they will be given it by the other people they must pay to distribute it, namely the Registrars when they register the birth a few weeks later once they have had time to recover from the birth, for a Benefit that they probably won't get anyway now because they earn too much.


Why doesn't the DVLA pay Bounty to come and give me my Road Tax form at my GPs while I am having a smear test I wonder?

Of the Passport Office to give me their forms that I can easily get myself online or in a PO when I am having a root canal done at the dentist?

I can't believe how such an inappropriate practice has been allowed to continue for so long.

SuffolkNWhat Wed 19-Mar-14 11:16:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Kudzugirl Wed 19-Mar-14 11:31:15

Completely unconvinced that this will have any effect at all. Trusts will give the same puff answers to any questions and monitoring will have no real effect.

The central issue of using HCPs as proxy agents as detailed by Minipie appears not to have been addressed. There are too many fiscal benefits to the NHS for this practice to be outlawed and most MWs appear to be in complete ignorance regarding their own complicity with this system.

Not impressed.

JessMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 19-Mar-14 11:35:16


We've published some further info on how to complain to your hospital. If you'd like to let your hospital know about your experience, and ask them to reconsider their relationship with Bounty, here's how.

PigletJohn Wed 19-Mar-14 11:35:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PigletJohn Wed 19-Mar-14 11:36:34


hooray for Jess (crossposted)

PigletJohn Wed 19-Mar-14 11:37:51

On consideration, blush I withdraw my slur on nurses and midwives

PigletJohn Wed 19-Mar-14 11:39:02


"I can't believe how such an inappropriate practice has been allowed to continue for so long."

because people are making money out of it. Bounty makes a fat profit as it is paid by the marketing depts of the clients, just like door-to-door or telephone cold callers for PPI, double glazing, or electricity.

the hospital trust make a few thou out of it (probably less than they spend on petrol for the chief exec's jag) and look on it as money for nothing

Without wishing to be unkind, I see a pattern that mums with a bad experience tend to say "I was very upset but didn't make a complaint" and the hospital trusts say "we've had no complaints."

If the hospital trusts got a sackful of formal letters of complaint, they would no longer be able to say that mums don't mind, and they would also have the cost and inconvenience of having to look into and reply to the letters. Bureaucracies hate that.

Jux Wed 19-Mar-14 11:44:54

I am astonished that Government are paying Bounty for distributing their forms. bounty should be paying them for the privilege and opportunity of shunting their crap into the NHS. Ultimately that means that we are paying Bounty to do this.

Letters indicating high dudgeon to MPs seem called for.

Jux Wed 19-Mar-14 11:46:52

In my area when I had ds1 there was also a (publicly funded) breast feeding support organisation.

A lot of the ladies who did the hospital visits were volunteers, but the managers and organisers were salaried.

When out of hospital I looked on their website for a helpline number. Among all the website pages was one aimed at advertisers, saying that this organisation had the means (by leaflets and packs etc) to put advertising information infront of xthousands of new mothers every year, and advised advertisers of baby/new mum stuff to contact them to discuss rates!

And this organisation had their people on wards too, and collected information from any new mum they could.

Organisation is no longer, due to funding cuts. Which is a shame because the volunteers giving the BF support were fab, but I refused to have anything to do with them after realising they were selling details on. (Which the organiser said was to increase their funding, blah blah).

So, its not just Bounty. Any organisation that collects information from new mothers with a view to selling it on to advertisers, should be banned from wards, and if they sign you up somewhere else like the café or a BF support group, they should be legally obliged to declare what they do with the personal information they collect.

RedToothBrush Wed 19-Mar-14 12:03:00

if they sign you up somewhere else like the café or a BF support group, they should be legally obliged to declare what they do with the personal information they collect.

Actually they already are... they are just flouting the law.

TBH, just getting this message across to women who might realise that they are being approached illegally is a big deal and it means they are more likely to challenge their behaviour.

As it stands if you sign up for anything and hand over your details the company concerned is legally obliged to tell you EXPLICITLY what they will be used for and they are ONLY legally obliged to use those details for that purpose.

tribpot Wed 19-Mar-14 14:36:04

Without wishing to be unkind, I see a pattern that mums with a bad experience tend to say "I was very upset but didn't make a complaint"

This sounds like a call to arms for new dads, PigletJohn. No way in hell will most new mothers have the energy or presence of mind to make a complaint - or in the case of someone like NikNak, who frankly should have had an apology on bended fucking knee from Bounty, just getting through the day must have been a triumph of will.

New dads are less physically traumatised by birth and so perhaps should be encouraged to manage the complaint if their partner wishes to make one.

Chelvis - another shocking experience. I am amazed that any hospital thinks that having strangers coming on to the ward masquerading as clinical staff is a safe practice.

PigletJohn Wed 19-Mar-14 14:37:46

good point. Pass the word out to expectant dads. They are likely to be aggressively protective, first time at least, of their new family.

BoffinMum Wed 19-Mar-14 18:12:37

I think I may have made this point in past threads, but in each case where Bounty do not make it clear to women what they are collecting the data for, or fail to take women off mailing lists, they are breaking the law and can be reported to the Information Commissioner's Office.

I wonder how securely they keep this patient data, incidentally, and whether they report data breaches to the ICO as they should. In fact, I wonder who their Data Protection Officer is. It occurs to me that if every woman wrote to them asking for a copy of their personal details kept on file, via a Data Protection Act Subject Access Request, Bounty would probably keel over anyway. It would cost each applicant £10 but possibly worth it as a co-ordinated attack, if people felt so inclined.

BoffinMum Wed 19-Mar-14 18:19:52

Here is the email address if you would like to make a Subject Access Request. I have just done so.

BoffinMum Wed 19-Mar-14 18:20:40

Sorry, that should have read

welshnat Wed 19-Mar-14 18:51:44

I was actually given the CB form with DSs birth certificate so not sure why all councils can't do this?

I hope you get the result we all want! grin

GuineaPigGaiters Wed 19-Mar-14 20:39:53

They shouldn't be on wards at all. Totally ridiculous invasion of privacy that wouldn't be allowed anywhere else in a hospital....let alone in the vulnerable and stressful hours following birth. Only a complete ban is acceptable...not this poppycock about them getting a telling off and instructions to behave better in future.

hunreeeal Wed 19-Mar-14 22:04:26

I agree GuineaPig. A complete ban is needed.

TwitMcAwesome Thu 20-Mar-14 07:28:39

A paid sales rep is allowed access to maternity units as and when (it seems).
Where-as I, a trained, DBS checked peer supporter, am not allowed to volunteer to be available to women who might need the help or support.
Interesting priorities....

isisisis Thu 20-Mar-14 08:29:22

"Without wishing to be unkind, I see a pattern that mums with a bad experience tend to say "I was very upset but didn't make a complaint"

My experience of bounty wasn't 'bad'. Due to the Mumsnet campaign I knew I didn't want anything to do with them. When they approached me I gave a polite but firm "no thank you" 3 separate times
As they didn't cause me any distress it never occurred to me to complain. However I've just realised that I should of complained that they where ever there in the first place.
I'm off to email my local trust & would encourage those of us with more routine bounty stories to also complain.

Many good points here, including GuineaPig, Twit, and isis

Perhaps I should complain that I saw a Bounty lady on the post-natal ward following dd's birth in '99 when I didn't request to, and didn't find that helpful. So, as isis says, just the standard stuff.

I do remember reading the dreadful Emma's diary on the ward because I'd just been given it in what felt like a semi-official way. So, I felt I ought too.
Really there was no need for me to be reading about weaning products at that stage. I should complain just for them giving me Emma's diary - on literary merit alone grin
I also felt slightly bad for deciding not to have a photo of dd, even though
my wiser self knew we could take lots of just as good ones ourselves.

CyberMuddle Thu 20-Mar-14 09:29:16

Very good point isis. If a Bounty rep approaches me (I'm due on Monday) I will complain at her being allowed on the ward at all. I really think we all need to do this to ensure that the message gets across that the whole system is unacceptable, not just elements of their practices.

Jux Thu 20-Mar-14 10:06:44

Oh god!! Emma's Diary <yeuch> it was enough to put you off babies altogether, twee, illiterate, boring. They should give it to women along with the pill.

I had exactly the experience that PigletJohn describes. I had a terrible experience with a Bounty rep but I did not submit a formal complaint as I was in no position to do so! With a brand new baby and complications I was a vulnerable mess and obviously had some other more pressing priorities at the time. hmm

I verbally complained to the staff at the time, but they gave me a 'there, there, no harm done' response.

Two years later, as a result of the Mumsnet campaign, I wrote a formal letter to the head of the hospital trust describing how I was treated and asking them to cancel the Bounty contract. He sent me a really dismissive letter back saying that they intended to continue with Bounty, and that they had received no complaints about their reps during the period I was referring to!!

What I am saying is, these hospitals cannot use 'we received no complaints' as a defence. Shockingly undignified, invasive stuff is happening to vulnerable people who do not have the capacity to make a complaint! It makes my blood boil that they can so arrogant about this.

hunreeeal Thu 20-Mar-14 10:41:03

Yes, I'm with you there FannyPriceless... this is exactly why so many of us don't complain.

isisisis Thu 20-Mar-14 11:29:02

cybernuddle good luck with the new baby. I've just emailed the CEO of my local trust complaining about bountys access to the wards & have copied my local MP & Mumsnet in. As I said previously, they didn't do anything bad to me but they shouldn't be there in the first place. All of us who object need to complain, not just those with horrid experiences. Then the CEOs can't claim that women don't mind.

Monkeymummy1 Thu 20-Mar-14 12:10:09

This is great news. I had a bad experience with these reps too. I had so much going on at the time with a poorly baby. I was in tears, the doctor was discussing with me what care my baby would need, the incubator was being set up beside my bed... and this was the point that the rep stuck her head in and asked if I'd like a photo. Looking back it's laughable - and DH obviously told her to get lost! Really pleased this is being addressed!

HullBird Thu 20-Mar-14 20:31:05

I received my first bounty pack at my booking in appointment a couple of weeks ago. The midwife, said, like it was a big deal, 'here's all your information but you'll need your official due date before you can sign up for the freebies'. I've just gone through all the bumf (it reminds me a lot of a freshers' pack from University) It's all adverts. However the thing I wish to highlight is that the Money Advice Service leaflet says:
Claim Child Benefit
Fill in the form found in your Bounty pack and post...
Forms can also be obtained from the HM Revenue and Customs department.

Why is the first option the Bounty pack? Please can the Money Advice Service also be contacted as part of the campaign?

Sarahcsalisbury Fri 21-Mar-14 05:18:45

Recently has LO and was shocked to hear bounty rep doing rounds less than 12 hours after he was born! Relatively relieved she left us alone easily but felt she particularly prayed on ladies for whom English wasn't their first language. It isn't a time for commercialism and companies need to be slightly more inventive about collecting details - as if there aren't enough cues that a baby has arrived ! It's lazy on the part of the companies at the cost of enjoying those precious hours with your new baby ! The portraits are also laughable - who wants to be captured in hd at that point? Point and click phone technology is more than adequate ! confused

ThePowerOfNo Fri 21-Mar-14 06:58:11

I think this campaign shows a woeful ignorance about what's actuallt happening to the NHS right now: After ds was born his NHs card came through - or should that be his SERCO card?! Fucking depressing seeing that insignia on such a fundamental document.

So yes, get bounty out of maternity wards , but more importantly get ALL greedy, unaccountable 'private' (although happily draining away public money) corporations out of the NHS. Fucking leeches.

Kudzugirl Fri 21-Mar-14 08:00:15

We've just lost the regional ambulance service to private tender where we are.

I do think there are more fundamental issues to campaign about to be honest and agree with Thepowerofno. Yes, Bounty is another manifestation of this but a minor one in the greater scheme of things. There are far more important services that are being tendered out and I pretty much guarantee that Midwifery services will soon be one of them if more people do not wake up.

Why are millions of people not marching on Westminster over this I will never know.

NotCitrus Fri 21-Mar-14 08:16:05

A minor point, but probably relevant to most hospitals - all the Bounty packs occupy storage space, not to mention about 30 seconds of MW time x 4 Bounty packs they are supposed to issue per pregnancy = lots of wasted staff time in total.

In my last pregnancy I wasn't going to take the packs but the MWs begged me to take the "bloody things" as they were in the way. One farcical day they had apparently received 1000 stage 4 packs which were clogging up access to a vital store room, so staff were begging all people in the antenatal waiting area to take some away. And the adjacent blood test waiting area. And pointing out the recycling bins. Hospital hosts about 5000 births a year and is hugely overcrowded and needs all its space.

So I took half a dozen, kept the tea bags which was about all that was useful, and filled a recycling bin.

Hospitals shouldn't have to deal with all that.

IceBeing Fri 21-Mar-14 09:55:01


The hospital I contacted are now trialling an Opt in card, where you fill in the card if you want the rep to come see you.

CMOTDibbler Fri 21-Mar-14 10:18:55

In 2006 when ds was born, he was in SCBU, and I was crying on my bed hand expressing colostrum (rather than cuddling my baby) when a bounty woman flung open the curtains and instead of apologising and going away started going on about where was my baby.
She kept coming back, which was especially bad as I'd lost a lot of blood, but was dragging myself to scbu to be with ds (no chance of a wheelchair round there, any drinks or food while you were there) so was only at my bed to sleep.

I didn't complain, but I had already made a formal complaint about the terrible care I experienced over the course of my miscarriages, and just couldn't cope with making further complaints

Goldmandra Fri 21-Mar-14 11:57:14

The hospital I contacted are now trialling an Opt in card, where you fill in the card if you want the rep to come see you.


Can you ask them how they propose to monitor its success? It should not be incumbent upon the women whose wishes have been ignored to make complaints if the system is abused which is highly likely from all accounts.

PigletJohn Fri 21-Mar-14 12:02:19

I have a feeling they may not be overwhelmed by opt-in cards.

How about a Mumsnet piss off no thanks card to pin to your curtain or hang on the bed?

tribpot Fri 21-Mar-14 12:18:40

I see a new merchandising opportunity for Mumsnet here, PigletJohn!

And PowerofNo, I completely agree that the commercialisation of the NHS as a whole is extremely worrying; Bounty is an extreme example of what may happen elsewhere. But Mumsnet can't fight the government on the entire issue of how the NHS operates and funds itself. This is a specific issue where it can (hopefully) lobby effectively.

I can't believe the NHS card arrived with a Serco logo on, btw. That is truly shocking. I hope you made a complaint about it to your CCG.

Wow (though I shouldn't be so impressed at reasonable behavoiur really!)

a hospital is trialling an Opt-In card, IceBeing

Fantastic, and one of only two reasonable options to me, the other (and obviously somewhat preferable) being just ban from wards/hospitals altogether

confuddledDOTcom Fri 21-Mar-14 14:18:53

What happens when you do opt in though? confused I hope they don't end up using it as proof they're wanted. It's not about being wanted.

Yes, and there's a big difference in opting in purely off your own bat - like going online and finding Mumsnet for yourself - than being asked if you want to join, say by a MW at an antenatal appointment.
If they were to do that I wouldn't consider it a true opt-in service at all.

SuffolkNWhat Fri 21-Mar-14 14:40:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ChaffinchOfDoom Fri 21-Mar-14 19:07:33

there are many worrying concerns with bounty reps, the more I think about it

1) privacy - they barge in
2) they mislead to steal data
3) infection control - they are touching everyone/babies throughout the ward, constantly interacting - this is an extra risk to new mothers and babies
4) security - are they actually CRB/DBS checked? they are non-medical and dressed misleadingly - plus their total freedom of access
5) their using of hospital facilities/resources & getting in the way in area of limited space
6) legal issue for the hospital - potentially new mothers can sue the trust for not protecting her and her baby from exploitation

I have a section planned in for next week, will be interested to see what happens in this hospital - a diff one to where I had my other 2 dc
number 3) worries me most, actually, my dsis is a nurse and has done a specialisation on infection control - tiny things seemingly insignificant such as pens being chewed and passed around can have massive implications

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Fri 21-Mar-14 19:09:25

Bravo MNHQ! smile

As I'm sure you are aware NHS Scotland is completely separate, and run solely by the Scottish Government. Are you also trying to set up a meeting with the Scottish Government re Bounty in Scottish hospitals?

ChaffinchOfDoom Fri 21-Mar-14 19:10:10

my nhs friends do efficiency studies - surely the reps adversely affect the efficiency on the ward - as upthread poster explains on the room taken up, the chatting to other workers, distracting MW,

PigletJohn Fri 21-Mar-14 21:21:57

who can make a better one? It needs bigger type

SuffolkNWhat Fri 21-Mar-14 21:32:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PigletJohn Fri 21-Mar-14 23:53:11

I especially like that one

Who's got a colour printer?

isisisis Sat 22-Mar-14 05:56:42

Brilliant suffolknwhat Im imagining a new mumsnet scarf with that logo as the print.

SuffolkNWhat Sat 22-Mar-14 09:23:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BoffinMum Sat 22-Mar-14 18:17:07

PowerofNo, my mum had a swastika on her birth certificate until the law changed and you were allowed to swap them for plain ones much later.

Incidentally Serco wrote to me telling me to go for a smear test last year. I complained to the DoH in the grounds that I hadn't consented for my information to be given to a third party. I then got a plain letter from my GP inviting me. Success.

confuddledDOTcom Sat 22-Mar-14 20:44:23

I feel a bit thick here, who are Serco?

tribpot Sat 22-Mar-14 20:47:07
AnUnearthlyChild Mon 24-Mar-14 11:42:35

All this fuss about 'needing bounty to hand out child benefit forms' surely a combination of availability online on hmrc website and midwives having a stash at GP surgery would sort that one out.

Bunch of arses. The packs are crap. And the emails relentless. I had a premature baby so all the ' this is what your baby is doing at x months' pissed me right off.

I avoid anything they promote on principle ( except sudocrem, because that's just too useful to boycott)

tribpot Mon 24-Mar-14 12:09:36

I guess the argument is that there are c. 10,000 GP practices across all four Home Countries, whereas something closer to about 500 or 600 maternity units. So a hospital 'delivery' (pun intended) is more efficient - bearing in mind HMRC are chucking Bounty 90 grand to distribute the forms. To pay the hospitals to do it themselves might well exceed 90K (since they can't recoup costs via a massive datamining exercise!)

However, given the mantra nowadays for government is 'Digital First', they really should be pushing most parents on to the digital channel to apply for their CB online (can you even do this?) with paper becoming a route for the minority. And even then you could make the form available digitally for someone to print for the recipient.

You can download the form, but you still need to post it. I must have been out of it because I could've sworn I filled it in online and submitted! Dh must have been in charge that day!

confuddledDOTcom Tue 25-Mar-14 13:02:55

It would cost less, surely, to deliver them to hospitals than to pay someone to do it. They could get them printed with the red book and only pay print costs.

Caruna Fri 20-Jun-14 18:18:15

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KatieMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 16-Jul-14 10:19:24

Hi All

Just wanted to update - Care Quality Commission have confirmed the action they'll now be taking, to include Bounty (and all sales) reps on the wards. You can read the detail here but essentially:

The CQC maternity services inspections are now including questions about the presence and practice of commercial representatives on maternity wards for the first time, as well as asking women about their experiences.

Whilst not and end to sales reps on maternity wards, we hope it's quite a good step in the right direction. Do let us know your views and keep us posted with your experiences.

Dr Alice Roberts, will also be talking about the issue live on You and Yours, on Radio 4, at 12pm today Weds, 16th, you can listen here if you like.

CelibacyCakeAndElevatorMuzac Wed 16-Jul-14 17:59:18

It's a step in the right direction at least.

I suppose the sales reps will now have to be on best behaviour and anybody complaining about their conduct wil be more likely to be taken seriously.

I would like to see a complete end to Bounty on maternity wards, let's hope the feedback the CQC receive will help with that.

LindaMcCartneySausage Wed 16-Jul-14 19:42:50

Please ask for the Bounty Reps to be banned. It's not acceptable that commercial organisations are allowed to peddle their products in hospitals for all the good reasons already stated by other posters.

If the Bounty Reps can't be banned overnight, then the Dept for Health should issue an edict that Trusts are prohibited from renewing contracts with Bounty or any similar organisation.

AlpacaLypse Wed 16-Jul-14 21:58:30

Hi KatieMumsnet.

I've just clicked your linkie but it's chucked me into 'The Long View, the Politics of History Textbooks'. Which is actually quite interesting, but most definitely not the bit of You And Yours that I missed (had to turn radio off and go to work about 12.15)

AlpacaLypse Wed 16-Jul-14 22:01:04

Appears I'm on Radio 4 live stream.

Ooooh .... the time pips!

<brings back memories of Father tuned in to the Shipping Forecast...>

Justgotosleepnow Wed 16-Jul-14 22:27:24

I heard the program and I thought Dr Roberts was great. Also the Scottish healthcare professional was superb. Just told it like it is, that it's an inappropriate intrusion after a major life event and sales people should not be in hospital.
Also I thought Peter White had done his research well by being really clear that they are collecting personal information in exchange for some freebies. And not the nonsense trotted out by bounty about their 'trusted' status.
They aren't trusted they are insidious.

dannydyerismydad Thu 17-Jul-14 09:58:34

The Bounty rep in our hospital wasn't that bad aside from the fact her photos made DS look absolutely hideous CQC monitoring is a step in the right direction, but the real problems begin when you get home and the unsolicited phone calls from sales reps who know you have a new baby begin.

I'm sure I opted out, but in my post-section haze I could have (and obviously did) agree to anything.

SuffolkNWhat Thu 17-Jul-14 11:42:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SuffolkNWhat Thu 17-Jul-14 11:43:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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