Hospice provides physical, social, emotional and spiritual care for people with life-shortening illness. Providing equitable access to services is becoming increasingly difficult for all hospices due to a rising number of people living longer with life-shortening illness and limited healthcare resources. Consequently, hospices are increasingly looking at ways of using technology to deliver services over a distance. This paper presents a prototype design for a web-based system (‘virtual hospice’) to improve access to services provided by Highland Hospice in the UK, and an initial usability study involving three elderly male patients. Participants completed most of the usability tasks, made positive comments, and would definitely or likely recommend the system to people who might benefit from it. The findings were translated into recommended changes to the virtual hospice, and may be helpful for other HCI designers and researchers working in this area.