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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.

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.

Flibbertyjibbet Tue 18-Mar-14 17:17:30

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

Restrainedrabbit Tue 18-Mar-14 18:10:57

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.

GlaikitFizzog Tue 18-Mar-14 18:38:59

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?

GlaikitFizzog Tue 18-Mar-14 18:49:30

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.

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