The latest “COVID-19 Updated Guidelines for Funeral Directors on Managing Infection Risks when Handling the Deceased” was issued on 11 June 2020 by the NI Department of Health.
While this document is entitled “COVID-19 Updated Guidelines …” it carries the full endorsement and imprimatur of the Minister of Health and the Chief Medical Officer who have authorised its release. It is therefore incumbent on all funeral directors in Northern Ireland to follow and implement the published guidance in their daily professional practice.
NAFD members are also reminded that they have specific responsibilities that form part of being in NAFD membership under the Code of Professional Standards:
NAFD CODE OF PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS
“It is a fundamental principle of the Code of Practice and the Code of Professional Standards that category (a) members of the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD) are responsible for the actions and decisions of their employees while their company is in membership.
It is expected that members will abide by, and comply with, all funeral, business, health and safety and such related laws and rules as are, from time to time, issued by the Government and other regulatory bodies. Any such non-compliance may lead to suspension/withdrawal of membership.”
The President of the NAFD’s Northern Ireland Federation, Sandra Whiteside, said: “The Department of Health Guidance has been issued for public health reasons to help protect both funeral directors and the wider public in Northern Ireland when providing funeral services, therefore must be adopted to maintain professional standards.”