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

(866 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!

candyflosscloud Sat 15-Jun-13 21:03:45

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.

VisualiseAHorse Sat 15-Jun-13 21:38:30

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.

FryOneFatManic Sun 16-Jun-13 10:18:08

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.

candyflosscloud Mon 17-Jun-13 11:59:56

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?

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