In this section you will find the latest news and campaign updates from the National Association of Funeral Directors.
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- BBC report shows many local authorities not meeting five-day target for registering a death
- NAFD’s view is that better coordination and overhaul of the death registration and certification process urgently needed
Evidence from members of the National Association of Funeral Directors, gathered over several years, shows significant increases in the length of time taken by local authorities in processing death registration and a lack of coordination between the various public agencies involved when a life ends. There is also a lack of information given to families about the process; a gap which the funeral profession often finds itself trying to fill.
- Report confirms funeral directors playing their part in addressing funeral cost concerns by restricting price increases
- However, burial and cremation fees rise above inflation once again
- Association argues it’s time for burial and cremation authorities to also act in the public interest by doing more to support grieving families
The National Association of Funeral Directors, whose members arrange 80% of the funerals taking place in the UK each year between them, has welcomed the 2017 National Funeral Cost Index report, by Royal London, and the evidence it provides of the hard work that funeral firms of all shapes and sizes are doing to support bereaved families. In particular, the NAFD welcomes confirmation that, after abstaining from price rises in 2016, funeral firms have pegged price rises at 2.1% this year – below the rate of inflation.
NAFD consultation responses highlights frailties and inadequacy of current benefit
Over the summer, the Government reported that £38.6 million was paid out in Social Fund Funeral Expenses Payments (FEP) in the year to July 2017, compared to £40 million in 2015-2016 and just over £44 million in both of the previous two years. In 2012-13, the figure paid out was £43.1 million.
The number of people applying for the benefit remains the same as last year: 45,000, but the number of successful applicants has fallen with only 27,000 people receiving a payment in the last twelve months, compared to 29,000 in 2015-16. The average amount paid out, however, has risen slightly, by £17.00, to £1,427, compared to £1,410 this time last year.
This means almost 20,000 bereaved people had their application for a Funeral Expenses Payment refused and faced the burden of paying for a funeral, that they had hoped to receive support from the Government for, after the funeral had taken place.
A skilled workforce is central to the success of any business. Having those skills widely-recognised can also be of benefit, helping to grow the business and building a strong, positive reputation. Achieving a professional qualification gives employees the confidence and credibility that they know what they can do, and how well they do it.
To the communities that members serve, investing in qualifications highlights that the business is investing in its staff, raising standards and ensuring that the service that offered is the best it can be. This helps provide a competitive advantage and a strong employer brand, which in turn is attractive when it comes to recruitment.
One of the most effective ways to help your staff become professionally qualified is by registering for an NAFD qualification.
Following success in re-establishing the Manchester & District Local Association, which is now an active and healthy group with a clear forward plan, NAFD second Vice President David Barrington represented the Association at the June meeting of the association, updating the group about the work of the NAFD’s National Executive committee.
The NAFD has welcomed a new report by consumer group Fairer Finance, commissioned by Dignity plc, into the strengths and weaknesses of the pre-paid funeral plan market.
Alison Crake, President of the National Association of Funeral Directors, said: “The National Association of Funeral Directors fully supports the view of Fairer Finance that change is needed in the oversight of the funeral planning market.
More than a third (33.5%) of members of the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD) surveyed in a recent members’ poll now have all or some of their prices available on their websites – helping people by giving them an idea of what a funeral costs from the comfort and privacy of their own home.
The survey also revealed that a further third (36.5%) of members are now planning to put pricing information online by 2019, a huge increase over the 19% that were considering the move a year ago, demonstrating a willingness on the part of NAFD member firms to adapt to the changing needs of bereaved people.
The National Association of Funeral Directors, through collaboration between its members in London, is providing support to the Westminster Coroner and emergency services, to care for those who have died at Grenfell Tower and we will continue to do so for as long as we are needed. Words cannot even begin to express our shock and sadness at this terrible loss of life and our thoughts and prayers are with all those who have been touched by this tragedy.
We are working with the government, local council and other organisations involved to understand what arrangements are being made in respect of the funerals and how best we can support this as a profession, whilst understanding and respecting the need to give families the freedom of choice to arrange funerals that are in line with their wishes, beliefs and individual circumstances.
‘Fantastic’, ‘inspiring’, ‘successful’ and ‘entertaining’ are some of the words that visitors and exhibitors used to sum up their three days at the National Funeral Exhibition, at Stoneleigh Park, on 9-11 June.
Nearly 4,000 people attended the show to view the latest innovations and products which are being produced to enable funeral directors to evolve and improve the care they provide to bereaved people.
In response to questions which have arisen in relation to the funeral of Ian Brady, Mandie Lavin, the Chief Executive of the National Association of Funeral Directors, said:
“All deaths require the proper disposal of the deceased person, in accordance with the law, and funeral directors there to assist in ensuring this happens, professionally, without making any judgement about the individuals concerned. However, it is up to each funeral director to decide whether they are able to take on any particular funeral, considering issues such as whether doing so might compromise their ability to look after other families already in their care and whether they would be able to meet any specific requirements that may be needed.”