There is a high mortality rate in patients admitted to hospitals acutely from care homes. In a retrospective case analysis study of 3772 older people admitted to the Department of Medicine for the Elderly between January and June 2005, 340 (9.0%) were from care homes, and 93 (27.3%) of the residents died during the index admission. Nearly 40% of these deaths occurred within 24h of admission indicating a high level of less appropriate admissions. Investigating eight nursing homes which admitted the highest number of patients from one primary care trust revealed that the most cited reasons for admission were the lack of advance care plans, access to General Practitioners (GPs) out of hours, as well as general access to palliative care and specialist nurses, and poor communication between patient, relatives, GPs, hospitals and care home staff. Our findings provide some useful insight into the factors that need to be addressed to avoid unnecessary or inappropriate admissions from care homes for better end of life care in aging societies.