Various studies suggest that there is a preference among patients, professionals and the public for death to occur at home (Dunlop et al, 1989; Townsend et al, 1990; Hinton, 1994). Data indicates that some patients are denied the opportunity to exercise choice in the place of death. In areas where palliative rapid-response teams have been available more people have been able to die at home. This article presents the findings of an evaluation of a hospice rapid-response service in the Highlands of Scotland, which was designed to respond to the needs of people in crisis facing death. The study was designed to produce a rigorous and comprehensive description of a newly–operational service at the pilot stage. It reflects not only the views of the professionals involved but also focuses on the views of informal carers. Seventeen patients were referred to the rapid-response service in its first year of operation between April 1998 and March 1999. The service has shown some success in enabling patients to die at home and satisfaction with the service is high among professionals and lay carers.