23rd March 2020
OUR OFFICES ARE OPEN
To manage infection risk we are operating an APPOINTMENT ONLY system.
Please call 01501 751214 for an appointment.
We are limiting access to 2 PERSONS in the office at a time.
We ask everyone to maintain the 2 metre separation.
Please do not attend any services if you have been exposed to or are experiencing, a cough, sore throat, or a high temperature.
We can beat this if we stay sensible and behave safely and considerately.
19th March 2020
Under the UK Government advice and instruction, funerals are still to go ahead as ‘normal’ for the moment while taking care to follow guidelines to minimise the risk of transmission.
For the moment, all our offices remain open and fully operational. Brodies are working hard to protect our families, staff and wider community who have contact with us. We will update procedures and protocol as per guidelines as the events unfold.
Following the advice on March 17th from the Church of Scotland that all public worship within local churches should be suspended, we feel that the best practice for a burial would be to offer a service at one of our parlours, with immediate family only in attendance, then onto at the cemetery. For a cremation it would be advisable to have one service at the crematorium.
From Friday 21st March, the Catholic Church have suspended Mass in all RC churches in Scotland. An intimate family service may be held circumstantially at the individual priests discretion.
PLEASE BE AWARE
We ask that all visitors to our office are aware of the following:
Our main reception door will be regularly cleaned, and we ask that all visitors make use of our hand washing facilities, or hand sanitisers on arrival.
We have hand sanitiser in our main reception in all of our offices – please help us to keep you safe by using it. We politely ask that you refrain from hand shaking etc during this period.
As this is a fast-moving scenario these actions are likely to change as we receive further advice from both the government and public health departments.
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Below is correspondence (taken directly from emails) from local West Lothian Crematorium and West Lothian Cemeteries:
WEST LOTHIAN CEMETERIES RULES
From 18th March 2020
The Celebrant, family and congregation are to keep well clear whilst the coffin is transferred from the hearse and taken to the lair
The coffin will be lowered by two of the cemeteries team and two funeral team whilst the celebrant, family and congregation are at least 10 meters away (this means no cords can be taken by the family.
Once the coffin has been lowered and the cemetery team have walked away, the congregation can gather round the lair and the service can continue
The cemetery team will come forward once the service has finished and all people have moved away from the lair
The coffin will not be left unattended at any point
WEST LOTHIAN CREMATORIUM RULES
From 18th March 2020
In order to try to delay the spread of the virus as much as possible, and to push the peak back, in line with Public Health England advice, we are taking the following steps.
Provision of hymn books
We have taken the decision to temporarily remove all hymn books from our Chapels. We believe that this will help to reduce the risk of virus transmission between individuals attending different services during the day. As most orders of service have the hymns printed in them, we do not believe this will have a harmful impact on the bereaved, but please do talk to us if we can help you with this.
Closing of curtains
We will be insisting that the curtains are closed around the coffin at the point of committal. This will ensure that mourners and attendees are not encouraged to touch, kiss or come into contact with the coffin at any point.
Shouldering of coffins
In order to limit human contact and proximity, and therefore to protect both our Crematorium teams and our Funeral Director colleagues, we will be encouraging Funeral Directors for all services to make use of our wheeled biers to bring coffins into the Chapel, rather than shouldering.
Individuals who have passed away from coronavirus
It is only a matter of time before we are required to look after the cremation of an individual who has passed away from coronavirus. In the absence of clear national guidance, we will be taking sensible precautionary measures in such cases and can confirm that our staff will be required to wear protective latex gloves when handling any such coffins, and will wipe down the coffin before handling it, both into and out of the Chapel.
Further, in such situations, we will use our discretion to determine when the service may be held in our Chapel, giving consideration to the time that will have passed from when the deceased person was last in contact with family members who are likely to attend the service.
Attendance of mourners who are infected by COVID-19 or are self-isolating
It is absolutely crucial that we protect our staff, your staff, and members of the public from undue risk. Under no circumstances will we allow anyone who is infected with COVID-19, or who is self isolating, to visit our premises. I hope that we can count on your support to ensure that families and mourners are fully aware of this position and that they relay our position to other potential mourners.
As previously requested, if you become aware of someone who has visited one of our sites (staff member or mourner) subsequently being diagnosed with COVID-19, please inform us immediately.
By way of a reminder, we are encouraging all of our staff to continue to apply some simple measures to help protect ourselves, our colleagues, and those who visit our facilities. I’d be grateful if you can encourage your staff and, where possible and appropriate, your bereaved families to adhere to the following:
• Please use the WC facilities at our sites to wash your hands with soap and water – before and after funeral services.
• Please catch coughs and sneezes in disposable tissues or on your sleeve (not your hands), and then discard the tissue (and wash your hands).
• Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.
• Those attending our sites should try to maintain a sensible (perhaps up to 2 metres/3 steps) clearance area between others, and should avoid social gestures such as shaking hands, kissing and hugging.
Web-casting of services
Following government advice, individuals who are at risk of contracting coronavirus should avoid attending public gatherings.
We’d like to encourage all of our Funeral Director colleagues to limit the number of attendees at funeral services.
However, it is very important to us that those people who may be unable to attend a funeral have the opportunity to say goodbye to their loved one, without taking any unnecessary risks. To help to make this work, we have taken the decision to offer you the opportunity to webcast funeral services at our crematorium at the significantly reduced price of £30 until further notice.
In offering this facility, we must, of course, make it very clear that this service provision is reliant on third party suppliers of both the web-casting service at the crematorium and the internet connection both at the crematorium and at the location of the mourner. For that reason, the Westerleigh Group cannot take responsibility should the web-casting fail for any technical reason.
Provision of hymn words (Obitus sites only)
Following a software update from Obitus, we are pleased that families at sites with the Obitus system are now able to choose from our most popular hymns and read the words directly from the Chapel screens.