- The care given to a random sample of adults who died in 1987 is described retrospectively by relatives and others who had known them. Most praised, or were satisfied with, the care given by general practitioners but both the statistics and the quotations reveal some disconcerting inadequacies in this care, particularly over home visiting. This was much appreciated when it happened, but had declined markedly since a similar study in 1969. The views and experiences of the general practitioners who had cared for the people who died were also sought. Many of them, particularly those in practices with large average list sizes, would have liked to be able to give more time to people who were dying. And those with larger lists had visited the people in the sample less frequently. It is suggested that this approach, of taking a sample of deaths and looking at the care given in the period before death, is a useful way to audit general practice care.