Cambridge University Press (CUP), Ageing and Society, 02(27), p. 233
In England, processes of regulation and inspection have been established to ensure that older people living in long-term care settings receive quality care. This paper describes how dying and death in care homes for older people is regulated and inspected. A documentary analysis was undertaken of the standard that addresses dying and death in the 2001 Care Homes for Older People: National Minimum Standards. Present in the standard is a 'good death' template drawn from con-structions of best practice in palliative care. The way in which this national standard is enacted in the inspection process is described using a content analysis of the inspection reports from 226 care homes for older people. These present a narrow focus on dying and death, one that emphasises the older person's wishes and the degree of adherence to policies and procedures concerned with the dying and death event. A regulated death attenuates the ' good death ' template and reflects both the inspection process and capabilities of the residents of care homes. If the regulation and inspection process is to integrate dying with living, a broader conception and regime of inspection is required. Only then will end-of-life care be provided that meets the diverse needs of older people who live in care homes. KEY WORDS – older people, care homes, documentary analysis, dying and death, regulation and inspection.