The Scottish Government are aware that Funeral Directors have been advised by membership bodies to seek PPE supply from their Local Resilience Forums (LRFs). LRFs is an England and Wales term. As such, the PPE supply arrangement outlined by the UK Government does not currently apply to Scotland.
The equivalent of LRFs in Scotland are Regional Resilience Partnerships (RRPs), supported by Local Resilience Partnerships (LRPs). The Funeral Industry is already well connected with these resilience partnerships, in particular contributing to their Mass Fatalities Planning Groups.
To oversee the effective implementation of additional deaths planning for COVID-19 in Scotland, a national group has been established (Strategic Co-ordinating Group – Additional Deaths Oversight Group). Membership includes the RRP Mass Fatalities Planning Leads and representatives from the Funeral Industry Sector as well as Scottish Government. This group has been made aware of the PPE supply concerns Funeral Directors have and is linked to the Scottish Government PPE Group working hard to address PPE supplies across all sectors. Such work is complex and consequentially takes time to fully address. It is of utmost priority though.
In the short-term, they are in the process of seeking assistance from the Additional Deaths Oversight Group Funeral Industry Sector representatives on what may be possible at the local and regional levels to address Funeral Industry Sector PPE supply concerns. This work will take place this week.
Additionally, Scottish Government guidance documents for funeral directors, burial and cremation authorities, and funeral services will be published.