Where trust is not enough

Fran Hall No Comments
Fran Hall

The recent news about the police investigations at a funeral directors in Hull should rightly concern all of us.

The care of those who have died is a sacred task, one that is usually entrusted to funeral staff when we employ a funeral director to help with organising a funeral.  

We assume that our relatives will be cared for and respected in death, just as they were in life, so to read that this trust may have been betrayed by someone working in the funeral sector is shocking. 

For the many people who are now anxiously waiting for news from the police, the worry that their relative may not have received that care must be devastating. More than a thousand calls have been received at the dedicated helpline set up by Humberside Police for anyone worried about the situation at Legacy Independent Funeral Directors.

Others may now be wondering about the care that their relative received when they were with a funeral director, an uncertainty that would probably have never arisen if this story were not in the news at the moment. 

We know that the vast majority of funeral directors take their role very seriously and treat the people they are caring for with the utmost respect. However, it is crucial you engage a funeral director that you feel comfortable with and trust, and you have every right to ask questions before committing yourself to employing a particular company.  

All good funeral directors will be more than happy to show prospective clients whereabouts their relative will be cared for, and to answer any questions you might have.

You may need to make an appointment to visit the mortuary, but as the person paying for the services of a funeral director, you have every right to ask to see where your person’s body will be while they are in the care of the company you are considering employing. 

You can also ask to see the company’s cremated remains policy, and to ask to be shown the procedures they have in place to ensure that the correct cremated remains are returned to the client following a cremation. 

All good funeral directors will understand just how worrying the current investigations are and will do their best to reassure you that they have watertight procedures in place, and that they and all their staff follow best practice.

If your request to see the mortuary is refused, or if your insistence on reassurance about procedures is met with resistance, then we would recommend changing funeral directors. 

Remember, you are the client, the person who has died is precious to you, and you have to have complete trust that your person is in safe hands.

If you are considering using a direct cremation company,  then these checks will be more difficult, if not impossible to carry out. This is one of the reasons that we only encourage direct cremation carried out by a funeral director who has premises that you can visit, and people that will sit with you and answer any questions you might have.

Almost every funeral director that is Recommended by the Good Funeral Guide will happily show you their mortuary space. One or two feel strongly that the people they are looking after deserve complete privacy, and therefore access to their cold room is restricted to times when they do not have anyone in their care. They will be completely open with you about this if this is the case.

All our Recommended funeral directors will answer any questions that you might have about their processes, procedures and the way that they look after the people in their care.

The Humberside Police direct line for anyone worried about the situation at Legacy Independent Funeral Directors is 0800 051 4674


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