Plaid Cymru’s North Wales AM has raised concerns about a private company gaining access to new mothers on maternity units.
Llyr Gruffydd AM, in a question to the Leader of the House in the Assembly this week, asked about the practice whereby a company called Bounty pay the health board to access maternity wards and offer services to mothers, including Bounty packs and pictures of their new-born babies. However, Bounty also collect data that are then sold to other companies who target those mothers for months and years after the birth.
Mr Gruffydd said: “Bounty currently pays Betsi Cadwaladr health board £1922 a year to access maternity wards. It seems a very cheap price to pay to access mothers at their most vulnerable. Many mothers have contacted Plaid Cymru since we raised this issue to say how uneasy they felt about the whole experience. Many had felt pressured into having photographs taken, some were told to hurry up when breastfeeding and others were then spammed with hundreds of e-mails selling baby goods after sharing information.
“The issue of data protection and especially the safety for both babies and mothers should be paramount in hospitals. I want assurances from the Welsh Government, which is in direct charge of running Betsi Cadwaladr, that data is not being shared without consent and that both babies and mothers are safe and secure.”
Julie James, the Leader of the House, has given assurances that she will investigate and report back to Mr Gruffydd.
Mothers’ responses can be found here.