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MNHQ here: Bounty Mutiny (get Bounty and commercial reps off wards) - UPDATE

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MNHQ have commented on this thread.

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 26-Oct-18 09:36:57

Hello

Thought some of you would be pleased to hear that as the petition to ban commercial reps started by Lauren Harris has passed 10k signatures, the government had to provide a response.

In it, they praise Ipswich hospital for introducing:

'a system where mothers are only approached by a commercial representative if they indicate that this is something that they would like. Mothers can show their preference by placing a card on their bedside table. This is a good example of how Trusts can put processes in place to give new mothers clear control over their interaction with commercial representatives.'

They go on to say:

'The Government is considering how to clarify guidance, so that that the interaction between commercial representatives and new mothers on NHS wards is consistently more positive across the UK.'

So, a small step but hopefully a good one. For the GDPR mavens among you there's also some commentary on that issue in the response on the petition page (please let us know what you think!)

Please do sign the petition if you feel strongly about this - every signature demonstrates the strength of feeling on the issue, and if the petition reaches 100k it will be debated in Parliament.

If you've already signed, you could:

1) write to the hospital where you had your baby (or the hospital where you will be having your baby, or would have your baby at if you had a hospital birth). Bring the response to their attention (they may not be aware of the petition), and point out that the Government has clearly indicated hospitals should have this sort of opt IN system and that other mothers should be left alone.

2) Tweet/share a Facebook post to East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (@ESNEFT on Twitter) to commend Ipswich hospital on its policy, and tag in your local hospital trust asking them to do the same.

3) Tweet/share a Facebook post with the Department of Health and Social Care (*@DHSCgovuk*) asking them to prioritise new guidance for trusts on this issue.

If you have any ideas for other useful actions to take please add them here!

Thanks
MNHQ

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 26-Oct-18 09:37:48

<stares balefully at formatting around @ tags>

GlassOuijan Fri 26-Oct-18 10:21:23

I wasn't aware of this petition/action, but I'm so pleased about it. I hate these vultures and want them outlawed.

Last pregnancy of mine, I got a telephone call from someone just after I'd been to Drs to see midwife for the first time. They asked me to "confirm" my details, even they cold called me. I told them to fuck off, essentially. But I was so furious that my private info was shared by the surgery.

After I gave birth and arrived in the ward at around 3.30 am, a woman breezed into the ward very early and put all the lights on. The midwife in charge seemed annoyed and told her "These ladies are tired, they've all delivered in the night" but this woman, a photographer, still pulled back all our curtains and bothered us. In our hospital beds!! It wasn't visiting time. How is this legal?

I will seek out this petition and add my voice!

RightOcciputAnterior Fri 26-Oct-18 10:40:44

Wonderful news. I'm pregnant currently and I've put "No Bounty reps" in my birth plan! My hospital does have an opt-in policy, apparently, so I'm hoping I won't get approached by these awful people.

MulticolourMophead Fri 26-Oct-18 10:41:43

It's a step in the right direction. I'll be tweeting, etc.

53rdWay Fri 26-Oct-18 10:42:33

This is good to see!

Would be interested to hear if anyone in here gave birth in Ipswich under this opt-in system - what’s on that card, what are you told about it, is it respected in practice? etc.

jubbablub Fri 26-Oct-18 10:43:18

I put “No bounty or other sales representatives” in my birth plan. It was ignored, but maybe women should be encouraged to do this.

pinkDEpanter Fri 26-Oct-18 11:16:11

Signed and shared on twitter!

Understand they're doing their job but for the love of god! What a time to try to hard sell! Most of us have a smart phone in our homes and take a hundred photos a minute of our children/new baby.

My first bounty rep was ok, took a lovely pic of my eldest (13 years ago)

My second was the true definition of a vulture, took an awful picture that I've never shared with anyone and bullied me into buying. I was fast asleep when she came in the room, she woke me up. Baby was born at 3am, I needed some rest!!!! (11years ago)

My third was a home birth but I was taken into the hospital and fortunately avoided any reps! (2years ago)

MathsFiend Fri 26-Oct-18 11:35:18

Signed.

When I gave birth, the midwives made out that you had to speak to the bounty reps to get your child benefit forms. What a crock of shit. So everyone queued up, and therefore it would appear that people wanted them there, rather than feeling obliged to deal with them.

Also had one rep pull back my drawn curtains, and comment about there being no baby there (she was in SCBU). Really insensitive, and could have triggered an awful reaction.

JessieLemon Fri 26-Oct-18 11:52:05

Last pregnancy of mine, I got a telephone call from someone just after I'd been to Drs to see midwife for the first time. They asked me to "confirm" my details, even they cold called me. I told them to fuck off, essentially. But I was so furious that my private info was shared by the surgery.

Please tell me you complained about this. That is a massive breach of the data protection act!

Amanduh Fri 26-Oct-18 11:53:19

When I gave birth, they just left the pack and just said let us know if you want any photos. I think I was lucky!

Kpo58 Fri 26-Oct-18 12:15:06

Mothers can show their preference by placing a card on their bedside table.
That seems a bad idea. The rep would have to draw back the curtains to check the card, which would still disturb the mother. Maybe checking with the midwife on reception on the mother's preference instead?

RoboticMary Fri 26-Oct-18 12:26:59

When my first was born, she was in the ICU for several days as she wasn’t breathing at birth. The Bounty rep pulled back the curtains, did a pantomime double-take at the empty crib beside me, laughed and said “Ha! Better luck next time!”

I was only 19 and while I was more concerned about my poorly DD at the time, it’s bothered me since. I assume she meant a healthy child... but what a thing to say sad

Pavlova31 Fri 26-Oct-18 12:45:18

They tried to tell me that nonsense that the only way to get a child benefit form was through them hmm
Also that they would only share your contact details with a "few" carefully selected partners then being bombarded with junk mail and cold calls at all hours of day from goodness knows who hmm

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 26-Oct-18 12:46:04

RoboticMary

When my first was born, she was in the ICU for several days as she wasn’t breathing at birth. The Bounty rep pulled back the curtains, did a pantomime double-take at the empty crib beside me, laughed and said “Ha! Better luck next time!”

I was only 19 and while I was more concerned about my poorly DD at the time, it’s bothered me since. I assume she meant a healthy child... but what a thing to say sad

Crikey shock

Really sorry to read that and other people's terrible experiences too

Interesting point about the card and pulling the curtains back - does anyone know how this works at Ipswich? Are the cards collected by staff on the ward and collated for info for the reps?

Pavlova31 Fri 26-Oct-18 12:46:46

That was awful Roboticmary flowers

GlassOuijan Fri 26-Oct-18 12:47:54

Please tell me you complained about this. That is a massive breach of the data protection act!

I am ashamed to admit that I did not.
I was pg, working, and had a toddler with ASD, so didn't quite get around to it. blush. I didn't have the presence of mind to ask the woman on the phone exactly how she knew I was pregnant and the process for the sharing of information. We hadn't told anyone!

This was 9 years ago; I'm hoping things have changed.

redsummershoes Fri 26-Oct-18 12:50:31

the child benefit form is such a bullshit story.
after each if my births, the form was available at the registry office (different ones each time!) + it's very easy to find online.

Dragonfly3 Fri 26-Oct-18 12:51:34

I'm a baby/family/newborn photographer and am so happy to see this petition and hopeful outlawing of Bounty in hospitals. A company that trains staff to sell to emotional, tired and sometimes vulnerable people shouldn't be encouraged.

Sexnotgender Fri 26-Oct-18 12:53:14

I don’t remember a bounty rep when I had my daughter 15 years ago but some of the stories I’ve read on here are dreadful!

I’m pregnant with my second and they can sod right off!

53rdWay Fri 26-Oct-18 12:55:51

There'd be nothing to stop the rest of us putting "NO BOUNTY, GO AWAY" cards on our bedside tables at other hospitals too, I suppose...

Huntlybyelection Fri 26-Oct-18 12:58:47

I just dont understand how the Bounty reps are allowed to wander the wards looking for people to essentially prey on.

First baby, my own mum was chivvied off the ward because visiting time was over just a few minutes after she arrived. But the Bounty woman was allowed on outside visiting hours, and made a nuisance of herself to 4 women who had all just been upset by a midwife doing the newborn checks. I was furious. I told the woman to piss off and leave me alone.

Why on earth are Bounty given access to all these women and babies on the wards?

I don't think placing a card for them to look for will make a difference to be honest. It still means they are on the ward and bothering post labour women. I don't think they should be allowed anywhere near them.

DSHathawayGivesMeFannyGallops Fri 26-Oct-18 13:04:42

So pleased to see this and will be signing. I hoped that this would pop up on here - found out about Lauren Harris after coming across a uni mate complaining about her campaign on FB! She'd had an easy birth and a healthy baby she wanted to show off - and seemingly a not too pushy bounty lady. She had no idea why anyone would have an issue with Bounty and their "lovely freebies" and complained about the "minority" spoiling it for everyone else hmm. Sent her some mn links.

TenForward82 Fri 26-Oct-18 13:05:44

Putting "no bounty reps" in your birthplan doesn't make a blind bit of difference. They don't check in with a midwife before they approach each woman. If the NHS want to make a positive change, they need to stop taking kickbacks from this awful company.

Huntlybyelection Fri 26-Oct-18 13:06:52

I emailed Bounty in 2013, never heard anything back. I forgot I'd already been in touch with them about it:

"I feel very strongly that the presence of Bounty representatives on post-natal wards represents an invasion of privacy of women.

When I gave birth to my daughter two years ago, a Bounty representative appeared on the ward. My daughter was less than 24 hours old. I was learning to care for her, struggling with breastfeeding and trying to move in as comfortable a manner as possible after having a 2nd degree tear and multiple stitches. My daughter had just had her newborn health checks and I had been told that she had failed her hearing test. I felt vulnerable, emotional and alone. This was not an appropriate time to be approached by a salesperson, who gave the impression that I could only get the essential form to fill in for child benefit if I gave her my personal details. I also felt pressurised to agree to my newborn child being photographed by a complete stranger.

Please be aware: this stranger, clutching plastic bags of useless leaflets and a pack of two nappies, 15 wipes and a mini tub of sudocrem along with the child benefit form, was allowed on the ward when no other visitors were. Including the father of my child. She was there outwith visiting hours.

Are you happy that your representatives can approach vulnerable and emotional women at a time in their lives when they are getting to grips with major changes?

Shame on you, and shame on your company."

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