A HEALTH board has been accused of ignoring mums who raised concerns about sales representatives using ‘hard sell’ tactics on maternity units in North Wales.

It comes after officials from Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board told politicians they would not be banning staff working for baby merchandise company Bounty from their hospitals.

Plaid Cymru councillors in Wrexham highlighted 20 cases where mothers felt unhappy about the behaviour of representatives from the firm, including incidents where pictures of newborns were taken without permission.

Concerns were raised by patients at both Wrexham Maelor Hospital and Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, where Bounty reps are allowed to visit the maternity ward as part of a ‘cash for access’ arrangement.

In their response, the health board apologised for any ‘upset and anxiety’ caused but said no official complaints had been received about the company.

Queensway councillor Carrie Harper said she felt the women’s views had been pushed aside.

She said: “The health board has ignored the many concerns raised by new mothers and health professionals about this company.

“I’m worried that mothers are being hassled at a time when they should be able to bond with their new-born babies.

“Being told to hurry up with their breastfeeding or ignored because their baby was on special care is upsetting to say the least.

“I’m urging anyone who has had a poor experience with Bounty to contact the health board to take the matter further.”

Betsi Cadwaladr receives £1,922 a year from Bounty for full access to the wards, where staff can give away goody bags, sell photos and collect data that can later be sold to other firms.

Almost 6,000 babies were delivered at the region’s three maternity units in Wrexham, Bodelwyddan and Bangor last year.

The company’s current contract with the board runs until April 2020.

Despite the lack of formal complaints, a spokesperson told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that extra training will be provided for sales representatives to provide reassurance to parents.

He said: “We have not received a complaint from any families about the service provided by Bounty at our maternity wards.

“To provide further reassurance to women who will visit our units in the future, Bounty is arranging a refresher course on the company’s code of conduct for all of their employees who provide services in our hospitals.

“This course will be attended by a member of our maternity team to provide additional assurance over the company’s operations.

“Bounty will also undertake a survey of women who have recently attended the health board’s hospitals to establish their satisfaction levels, which will serve to identify any issues and provide feedback on ways the service can be improved.”

Any families who wish to raise a concern have been asked to use the ‘contact us’ section of the health board’s website, or to speak to a member of maternity staff directly.