Local authorities to inspect funeral homes across England

21/05/2024   //   No Comments

The Daily Telegraph has reported today (Tuesday, 21st May) and over the weekend that funeral directors in England are to be inspected by local authorities in the wake of the Legacy investigation in Hull. 

SAIF responded jointly with the NAFD with the following comment, most of which has been included in the coverage:

“The National Association Of Funeral Directors and the National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors are working closely with the Government to build a format for the visits, which could begin in the coming weeks.

“We have provided a checklist using the combined experience of our inspectors and against an agreed set of shared principles consistent with the standards set out in our respective Codes of Practice.

“We will be supporting the visits, through training from our inspectors and through a network of volunteer funeral directors across the UK who are on standby to answer questions and explain what good practice looks like.

“SAIF and the NAFD are confident that all of our members will cooperate fully with local authorities and take the opportunity to demonstrate their quality and standards if a visit is requested – and we extend that to all other funeral directors in England too, as it is vitally important we reassure the public that they can trust in the compassion and professionalism of their chosen funeral director.

“We reject any suggestion that poor standards are commonplace across the UK funeral profession. This simply doesn’t stand up to scrutiny; 85% of funeral directors and their staff willingly accept regular premises inspections and receive hundreds of thousands of positive testimonials each year from bereaved families. Funeral directors are private businesses, providing an essential public service – it’s a role they take extremely seriously, and they are as distressed by the actions of a small number of bad actors as anyone.”

We note that the newspaper omitted the third and final paragraphs of our response. However, it remains vital to stress that the vast majority of UK funeral directors consistently strive to achieve the highest standards. This is a message SAIF will continue to share as the regulatory landscape evolves. 

The story can be read in full here.

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