Although satisfaction is an important outcome of medical care, there are no validated tools to quantify family satisfaction with hospital-based palliative care. In this nationwide postal survey, an instrument to measure informal carer satisfaction with an inpatient palliative care service was validated. A 60-item questionnaire was mailed to 1344 bereaved people who had lost their family members at 50 palliative care units in Japan, and 850 responses were analysed (response rate=64%). The reliability, construct validity, and convergent validity of the scale were examined after the responses were randomly divided into two groups: a training set used in the development phase (n=500) and a testing set used in the validation phase (n=350). The number of scale items was reduced from 50 to 34 through psychometric techniques in the development phase. In the testing sample, the overall Cronbach's coefficient alpha for the final 34-item scale was 0.98. A factor analysis revealed that the scale consisted of seven subcategories: Nursing Care, Facility, Information, Availability, Family Care, Cost, and Symptom Palliation. The total score of the scale was significantly correlated with the degree of global satisfaction of the bereaved (Spearman's r=0.78). In conclusion, this 34-item scale, the Satisfaction Scale for Family Members Receiving Inpatient Palliative Care (Sat-Fam-IPC), has acceptable psychometric properties and would be a useful tool to measure carer satisfaction with an inpatient palliative care service.