As you may have heard, the Queen’s Speech, which opened the 2008-2009 parliamentary year, included reference to the importance of rights for informal carers (House of Commons, 2008). I am no stranger to the world of informal caring as many of you may know. Indeed, I have made it no secret and frequently mention it at the annual Royal College of Nursing Congress and have done so since 2001. For those of you who may not be aware of the term ‘informal carer’, an informal carer is a person who looks after another, be it a friend, neighbour or relative, without pay, regulation, formal recognition or training. This is in contrast to ‘formal carers’ who are employed, paid, recognized, trained and in the case of many care professionals such as nurses and doctors, are regulated. Many, myself included, do both!