Following media allegations regarding storage areas at a branch of Midcounties Co-operative in Walsall, the National Association of Funeral Directors, which upholds standards in the funeral profession, sent a team of Standards & Quality Managers to conduct a thorough inspection today.

Previous NAFD inspections and feedback from customers have shown this to be a well-run funeral home and, following today’s inspection, the NAFD can reassure the public that all deceased persons on the premises are being cared for in a proper and respectful manner, in line with our requirements.

Our inspectors found that coffins are no longer stored on the racking pictured and those stored in this area of the building were, in fact, empty. Further, Ben Reid, Chief Executive Officer of Midcounties Co-operative, has confirmed publicly that those pictured in the media coverage were also empty. Minor remedial maintenance was being undertaken which will restore the area to a properly functioning storage area.

In response to our initial enquiries Midcounties Cooperative have assured us they are increasing their own internal inspection regime to ensure this error is not repeated.

The NAFD always takes concerns extremely seriously. Our first priority remains to ensure that deceased people are treated with respect and funeral directors are always mindful of the feelings of their loved ones. The public can be confident in choosing an NAFD member firm, not only because of the high standards our members are required to abide by, but because of our swift and thorough approach to investigating any concerns that may come to light.