Our update as of 08 April 2020
As you will be aware, we are currently facing the threat of a coronavirus epidemic. As a responsible business, we are thinking of possible impacts on funerals already organised and those yet to be planned in the coming weeks and months.
If you are feeling unwell and feel you may pose a risk by attending a funeral, we would advise you to follow the NHS and Govermnet guidlines and stick to the "Stay at Home" guidelines.
We would like to provide reassurance that our commitment to caring for bereaved people and their loved ones will remain steadfast throughout this period of uncertainty and disruption.
In our efforts to protect families and everyone involved in arranging funerals, we are considering a range of infection control options in line with the latest advice given by Public Health England. We are also working with partners, such as local crematoria and burial grounds abd our trade assosiation SAIF, to ensure we comply with their coronavirus procedures.
The below bullet points are now in action:
- Funeral arrangements being made entirely over the phone, with a visit to a controlled area of our office for form signing with limited face-to-face contact. We would not be able to conduct arrangements at clients’ homes or other venues.
- We are no longer opening offices on Saturdays, and our opening hours in the week maybe change. If you do need to come in to see us, please call first.
- If your loved one has passed away at home, please contact us and let us know as usual. Our staff may have to wear full PPE to safeguard theirsleves. Please let us know on the phone call if the death is due to Covid-19.
- Services at places of worship could be cancelled. In such circumstances, we would be happy to arrange a memorial or thanksgiving service at a church or another venue at a later date, when the risk has passed.
- Services at any venue could be cancelled. This could result in funeral services at crematoria being ‘live-streamed’ via the internet. We would provide advice aimed at ensuring everyone who needs to view the service is able to do so. Our staff may also be required to wait outside any chapel or building during services, whilst remaining on hand to offer assistance in line with official guidance.
- Service times at crematoria could be adjusted and/or reduced to allow for increased demand for services.
- Crematoria are now limiting the amount of people allowed in to each chapel, and restircted to close family only. This is the same for graveside burial services. All West Midlands authorities are now only allowing 6 people to attend a cremation or burial service.
- Choice of coffins maybe limited as demand and production is at a peak.
- Limousine transport has been cancelled and we are unable to provide transport to or from the funeral.
- Staff sharing. In the event of widespread staff illness, we have a contingency plan in place with other local family-run and well-respected funeral directors to share personnel if required. Rest assured you will still see the same high standards of care and professionalism from all of our partner organisations.
- Viewings. We would protect our clients and staff by restricting viewings. However, we would do our best to enable clients to sit with the coffin during this period. We are only allowing two people per chapel visit, as long as there are no symptoms of Covid-19. If your loved one has passed away with the virus, viewing/preperation is not allowed.
- We are unable to conduct any ‘into church’ provision or ‘into house’ during this period.
- The funeral director and staff will not remain in a chapel or other venue during the service. They will remain close by, outside, ready to assist you when required.
- Pre- and post-funeral gatherings at a wake venue will have to be canceled or not allowed.
- In the case of Coronavirus related deaths, we may have to arrange a prompt funeral to prevent unnecessary storage and handling of the deceased.
- We may not be offering our hygienic treatment (embalming) during this period.
- Outside organisations will impose rules and restrictions – we will adapt our working practices to follow these.
- We may not be able to fulfil floral tribute orders in full, if our florists are unable to source flowers due to national border closures. We do have re usable silk arrangments availiable.
Thank you for your understanding.