The Chief Executive of the NAFD, Jon Levett, and Past President Jeremy Field, who supports the NAFD on government matters, are attending a meeting today (17 March 2020) at The Cabinet Office, to seek guidance on how funeral directors can best support bereaved people through the pandemic.
In response to media questions, Jon Levett said: “Funeral directors across the UK have been working to develop contingency plans and are ready to step up to support the government and the nation in these unprecedented and worrying times. However, consistency of advice is key and this is what we are aiming to achieve from our meeting with the Cabinet Office today. Funeral directors need a very clear national policy to work to and we are concerned by inconsistencies of advice appearing across the UK which is making it impossible for funeral directors to give accurate advice. For example, if there are restrictions on numbers of people gathering, bereaved people need to know exactly what this means for funeral services and how funeral directors can support them.
“In addition, funeral directors need to understand how working practices may need to change and how they can access supplies they will need, such as Personal Protective Equipment – as well as how the government will support the funeral sector in ensuring they are able to cope as we approach the peak of the outbreak. Funeral directors have an abiding duty of care to anyone who loses someone they love, whether it’s from COVID-19 or anything else – and we urgently need consistent guidance from government to enable funeral directors to be able to support bereaved families at this difficult time.
We will provide as much information as we can, both to the funeral profession and the public, as soon as possible after the meeting. Please check our homepage regularly for updates.