New mums' anger at photo rep tactics at Wrexham hospital

A newborn baby
Image caption Mothers should be free to bond with their babies in peace, according to Wrexham councillor Carrie Harper

New mums have complained of high pressure tactics at one hospital from a firm that takes photos of newborn babies hours after they are born.

A health board has been criticised for allowing Bounty sales reps to take pictures of babies as part of an alleged "cash for access" arrangement.

A Freedom of Information request found the company gave Betsi Cadwaladr health board £1,922 over 12 months.

Bounty has apologised to two mums who had babies at Wrexham Maelor Hospital.

They said sorry to the two complainants if they had an experience that was "not up to our high standards".

Teresa Owen, executive director of public health for Betsi Cadwaladr, said the board was "not currently aware of any complaints".

However, she added: "Our staff are present when a representative from Bounty is on the ward and they are expected to respect the privacy and dignity of our patients."

New mother Jenny Millar, from Wrexham, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: "A rep asked to take photos and I said no straight away.

"I turned over and tried to go back to sleep, then I heard the camera going.

"She came around the other side of the bed to show me the pictures and to try to persuade me to buy them.

"I said no again and had to repeat myself three times before she finally went."

Image caption Bounty reps can be seen on wards at Wrexham Maelor Hospital

A second woman said the Bounty rep was "shameless", adding: "Even with the curtains closed she kept intruding."

Wrexham councillor Carrie Harper, who the two women contacted for help, said: "Allowing high pressure selling on a maternity ward is completely unethical.

"There aren't many people more vulnerable than women after they've just given birth - they should be free to recover from childbirth and to bond with their babies in peace."

A spokeswoman for Bounty said: "We are very sorry if anyone has had an experience with us that is not up to our high standards.

"Bounty fully supports and acknowledges the need to respect the privacy and dignity of families on the maternity ward."

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