This paper seeks to highlight the impact of the Carers (Recognition and Services) Act of 1995 on carers of people with learning disabilities. It draws on research conducted in the south west between 1997 and 1999, which examined the views and experiences of carers who had an assessment of their needs, together with those of the person they care for and the professional conducting the assessment. It concludes that the Carers Act is not widely used, or understood, by this group of carers. Recommendations for improving practice include changes to the current terminology, new triggers for a carer's needs assessment, and a greater input from other agencies, especially health services. Although the current paper focuses on the views and experiences of carers, an exploration of the Carers Act, and its effect on potential conflicts of interest with the person with learning disabilities, is available elsewhere (Williams and Robinson, 2001).