This week we’re inviting you to comment on a survey about hospices and franchise funeral services. Our friends at the Good Funeral Guide have pulled this together.
Take the survey. It takes only a minute.
The Good Funeral Guide is concerned about the ethics of a new venture. It’s a business franchise proposal, Hospice Funerals. This offers all UK hospices the opportunity of a becoming a franchise partner. Under this scheme, the hospice in effect becomes a funeral director. They can offer funeral services to patients and families. They pay £100,000 to join the scheme and pay an ongoing £10,000 a year for the franchise. They then make money from offering funeral services.
Are hospices and franchise funeral services the right fit?
The Good Funeral Guide has been contacting hospices and individuals involved in funeral services. They want to draw their attention to this proposal and invite their thoughts. Now they want to reach out to the public and to individuals and families who might have experience of hospices to get a view from them.
Hospice Funerals say the franchise scheme will ‘bring choice, quality and affordability to families in our communities.’
The Good Funeral Guide says that, in principle, they support the idea of an ethical, community-focused funeral service evolving from the hospice movement. In fact they drew up a guide to how such a model might work a few years ago. But they don’t think the Hospice Funerals plan is the right fit.
Here are some of the issues they identify around franchise funeral services:
- A franchise uses the hospice name and connection to gain advantage over existing, local funeral directors.
- Hospice Funerals would promote using the crematoria owned by Memoria Ltd, their parent company.
- The hospice would generate income and have to share a proportion of it with Hospice Funerals. This might be change the hospice from being seen as a deserving recipient of gifts and donations to being as a money-making enterprise.
The Good Funeral Guide advises hospices against the franchise proposal. It is supported in its misgivings by a range of individuals and organisations across the UK. See comments on the Good Funeral Guide’s blog post to understand others’ views of this Hospice Funerals proposition.
Email Fran Hall at the Good Funeral Guide if you want to explore this deeper.
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