Hospitals criticised for failing to protect new mums from salespeople

After you have a baby all any parent wants to do in the immediate hours and days that follow is spend time bonding with their new arrival.

But all to often new parents are having their baby bubble burst by salespeople trying to push products on them as they recuperate in hospital.

Now, a new report has now called for hospitals to provide more protection to parents against this intrusion.

Writing in The Telegraph, Health Minister Caroline Dinenage has urged NHS Trusts to take more action to protect new mothers and families from being placed in this uncomfortable situation while they are trying to adjust to having a new baby.

While parenting advice clubs like Bounty can be helpful for new families, parents should not have to deal with sales representatives intruding on them in an attempt to sell a photography package or the like, during a time when parents are privately celebrating or could be feeling overwhelmed or sleep-deprived.

The issue has been further highlighted as concerned families are complaining that women are being preyed on during this vulnerable time, without any awareness of whether theirs and their children’s personal data is being shared with third parties.

While most hospitals are yet to put in place any measures to protect parents, Ipswich Hospital in East Suffolk is one of the first hospitals in the country to take action with a new policy.

Nick Hulme, Chief Executive of Ipswich and Colchester Hospitals, announced that from now on cards will be placed on hospital bedsides so that parents can indicate whether they would be open or not to being visited by a Bounty rep.

The move came after a local mother wrote to the trust complaining about the issue.

Caroline has called for all other NHS Trusts to follow in the hospitals footsteps and provide protection for families who don’t wish to be bothered at this time.

This lack of protection for mothers has long been an issue.

Back in 2013, Vicky Garner, campaigner and founder of www.thebirthiwant.org.uk, started a campaign to get rid of Bounty and other commercial parenting clubs from hospital wards.

Her action was spurred on after she heard about a woman who had miscarried her baby and, surrounded by newborn babies and doting mums, was still badgered by sales reps.

What do you think about this report? Do you think other hospitals follow Ipswich Hospital’s lead and provide new families with more space, or have you found these services helpful? head over to our Facebook page as let us know.