Accurate prognostication is an enormous challenge for professionals caring for patients with advanced disease. Few studies have compared the prognostic accuracy of different professional groups within a hospice setting. The aim of this study was to compare the ability of 5 professional groups to estimate the survival of patients admitted to a specialist palliative care unit. No group accurately predicted the length of patient survival more than 50% of the time. Nursing and junior medical staff were most accurate while care assistants were least accurate. When in error, senior clinical staff tended to under-estimate survival. Independent mobility on admission was the only variable predictive of length of survival. Thus, professional groups differ in their prognostic accuracy. An awareness of a group's propensity to over- or under-estimate prognosis should be incorporated into future work on prognostication models.