In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, we want to provide you with an update of the current services that we can offer you when arranging a funeral.
We understand this is an especially difficult time for the bereaved and want to assure you we are here for you every step of the way.
Social distancing measures and other Government guidance have meant that we are constantly revising the procedures, costs and pricing to reflect what we can do. We have outlined these changes below but rest assured, we always conduct ourselves with the same level of care and professionalism when caring for your loved one.
We understand that this is a difficult time for you and your family, not only if you have suffered a bereavement but also due to current restrictions and general confusion, and therefore we hope to be able to offer clear, concise and helpful information as to what is available to you at this time. In addition, as we are encouraging our staff and community to adhere to Public Health England and other Government guidelines, we would ask for your patience and understanding to ensure our staff and clients are protected at all times.
We also want to help as much as we can in terms of costs as we understand so many people will be facing financial difficulty through this period. We will discuss our professional fees with you at the time of taking arrangements, as we understand that every personal situation will be different.
What to do when someone dies
Registering the death
Where possible, registrar services are now conducting their affairs remotely with documents being emailed rather than collected in person and conversations happening over the telephone rather than in person.
Where the coroner is not involved, the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD) - the essential document you will need in order to register the death - will be sent directly to the Registration Service by the hospital or surgery, often by email. You will need to confirm this has happened prior to making an appointment with the Registrar.
Where the coroner is involved, as the procedure will vary based on circumstances, the funeral director you speak to can advise as to your course of action.
Once you have confirmed that the MCCD has arrived at the Registration Service, please telephone the number on the Somerset County Council website to make an appointment. The Registration Service will make a time to call you back to register the death over the telephone. As usual, the registration should be done by a relative or an executor.
Making funeral arrangements
We are still discouraging face to face meetings in our branches or at your home, due to the safety of you and our staff. However, if two members of the family arranging the funeral would like to meet a member of our staff in person, we are permitting meetings at our branches, where we can observe all social distancing guidelines. The appointment can be conducted over the telephone, email or via a video conference call, all of which can be discussed with the dedicated funeral director.
Current guidance in relations to funerals has meant that funeral services are very different from what you might be used to. That said, we will endeavour to hold a meaningful and fitting committal for your loved one.
As guidance is constantly being updated, you will need to discuss your exact requirements with the dedicated funeral director, but as an overview we have detailed some of the latest guidance below:
The number of mourners who are able to attend will depend on the individual crematorium / cemetery. However, all locations have limited their attendances and only immediate family or friends are permitted to attend.
Some locations are offering Webcasts, which mean that mourners can attend the funeral remotely from their homes via a video link. Usually, the services can either be watched live or accessed as a recording for a time following the funeral.
We are able to offer our limousine for hire, but please note that all passengers will have to wear face coverings (unless exempt for medical reasons) and we are limiting the number of passengers in the car.
Regrettably, we are strongly discouraging viewing in the Chapel of Rest for those deceased affected by Coronavirus.
These examples of our current services are not exhaustive and of course my change further depending on Government measures. We will update this page as circumstances change and when time permits.
Please be assured of our attention at all times and we continue to work with transparency, the utmost care, respect, dignity and professionalism during this time of uncertainty.