Carers' feelings of uncertainty and anxiety can be particularly acute out-of-hours, when they may not have access to familiar sources of professional help and advice. The present study used qualitative semi-structured interviews to explore carers' experiences of out-of-hours care and support services. Fifteen bereaved carers in the Calderdale and Kirklees area were interviewed, and the interview transcripts analysed thematically. In general, carers felt well supported out-of-hours, especially by the nursing services. They appreciated opportunities to develop some degree of personal relationship with those they saw out-of-hours. However, in some cases problems were apparent. These were associated with poor provision of information, inadequate communication with carers, difficulties in accessing night-sitter services, or the inflexibility of services. The findings underline the importance of primary care practitioners taking an anticipatory approach to community palliative care.