Scheme may end cold-calling on our maternity wards

Katy Pearson, Sonny Jim, #whatkatydidUK

Hours old… and already being mined for his data

A while back I wrote a piece questioning why Bounty reps were allowed to cold-call mums on our maternity wards.

Picture the scene, I said.

You’ve just pushed a baby out. Or basically been slashed in half to birth your little one.

In your arms is the most precious thing you’ve ever held – and you have no idea what you’re doing.

You’re in a state of complete exhaustion/elation. You’re an emotional wreak. You’re in pain. Parts of you that you didn’t even know existed are hurting. You have no real idea what day/time it is. You’re in a total just-given-birth-blur. And then, at the foot of your bed, is an unsolicited, cold calling sales rep, wanting to take your baby’s photo and mine you for their data.

It hardly seems ethical. Should this really be allowed?

The response I got at the time surprised me. So very many other mums felt their privacy had been invaded. Had been left upset by the rep, at their timing (or lack of), at their hard-sell manner when they were feeling at their most vulnerable.

It’s a practice that has been going on for years, but it seems things are slowly changing. Nick Hulme, chief executive of Ipswich and Colchester hospitals, revealed they are amending their policy on Bounty reps.

The decision comes after a super success trial.

Coloured cards are now to be placed on mothers’ bedsides to indicate whether or not they are happy to be approached by Bounty reps.

And a question on Bounty is added to the questionnaire given to mothers before they leave the maternity ward, helping to give a proper, real-time look at what is happening.

Simple, but seemingly effective. Hopefully it’ll be rolled out across the county before too long.

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