25 June, 2009




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What Happens When A Service Person Dies?

The leaflet below has been produced by Naval Personal and Family Service (NPFS), and is provided in order to give an immediate source of information to families and dependants who have just been informed of the death of a serving member of the Royal Navy. This death may have resulted from an accident, sudden illness or other serious incident or conflict, and be totally unexpected.



Support, Advice And Information At Times Of Bereavement
A Guide for the Families and Dependants of recently deceased Royal Navy Personnel.

Introduction

  1. This leaflet has been produced by Naval Personal and Family Service (NPFS).

  2. It is provided in order to give an immediate source of information to Families and Dependants who have just been informed of the death of a Serving member of the Royal Navy.

  3. The death may have resulted from an accident, sudden illness or other serious incident or conflict, and be totally unexpected.

  4. Dependent on the circumstances of the death and the location of the Family or Dependants, notification may have been carried out by a uniformed Service Officer or via a request to the local Police. That process, in Service terms, is called 'Kinforming'.

  5. Kinforming is a traumatic and distressing event for all concerned, and often words spoken and conversations at the time can become blurred, and even forgotten.

  6. The leaflet sets out to identify who will be doing what in the aftermath of the Kinforming, and what will happen prior to the Funeral, and afterwards.

  7. It identifies key people who will be available to advise, assist and support you. They, in turn, will provide more detailed information when they contact you personally.


Kinforming Team

  1. Wherever possible, the Kinforming will be carried out by a uniformed Service Officer who will usually be accompanied by a Chaplain and/or an NPFS Social Worker. The uniformed Officer may know the deceased person, or may be the nearest uniformed Officer available.

  2. The Royal Navy tries to notify the Families Dependants at the earliest possible moment once the death has been confirmed.

  3. Distance from Service Establishments and the time that has elapsed may sometimes prevent this. On those occasions the local Police will be asked to notify you.

  4. If the Police carry out the Informing, you will also be given an immediate Royal naval contact for further information.


Immediate Support & Advice

  1. If the Kinforming has been carried out by a Service Officer, the chaplain and/or an NPFS Social Worker will be your immediate point of contact.

  2. They can help with contacting or notifying immediate members of the family, neighbours or friends, GPs or schools (if there are children in the family). They will provide as much assistance on the spot as they can.

  3. If, because of distance or timing, the Police have been asked to notify you, then contact with the NPFS Social Worker will initially be by telephone. NPFS will do anything they can to provide immediate advice, support and assistance.


Funeral Arrangements

  1. Once the Kinforming has been carried out, and usually within 24-48 hours, (based on the wishes of the deceased's Family or Dependants), an RN Funerals Officer will make contact.

  2. The Funerals Officer will advise and assist the Family or Dependants to make the appropriate arrangements - if they so wish.

  3. Initial contact will be made by telephone, followed by a personal visit. Advice and assistance will be provided on Service funerals, support for Civilian funerals or grants payable.

  4. The Funerals Officer will provide feedback to relevant ship or Establishment, and liaise with the chosen local Undertakers. If the death has occurred abroad, the Funerals Officer will oversee the arrangements for the return of the deceased.


Finances & RN Grants

  1. The Naval Service Dependants' Fund will normally pay an immediate grant  (currently £12,000 - April 2008) to the recognised dependant of all members of the Naval Service who die in service. An immediate cheque payment will be made to the deceased's dependants within 48 hours of death notification

  2. A Business Visiting Officer (BVO) will then make telephone contact and a personal visit. This usually occurs once the Funeral has taken place (or is near completion).

  3. The Business Officer will advise and assist on all Naval Pay and Pension issues relating to the deceased person.

  4. They are not Independent Financial Advisers but can help identify other sources of help e.g. RNBT or SSAFA.


Ongoing Support Visiting Officer

  1. From the moment that the death has been notified, there is a constant point of contact for you, and that is the Naval Personal and Family Service (NPFS) Visiting Officer.

  2. You will be advised of their name and location if they were not present at the Kinforming.

  3. NPFS is available to provide a range of advice, information and support. They will initially act as the first Point of Contact for you.

  4. This help may be needed prior to the Funeral, or once it has taken place, when you are trying to rebuild your lives through the grieving process.

  5. Sometimes, NPFS services are still being used several years after the death occurred. It is based entirely on the needs of the Families of Dependants left behind. Do not hesitate to call NPFS & RMW if you have a need.


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