Aim. This paper is a report of a study to examine the complexities of informal caregiving for people with chronic heart failure. Background. Little is known of the activities involved and underlying informal care. Heart failure is a common and burdensome condition in which carers play an important management role. Method. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with 30 informal carers nominated by patients with mild-to-moderate heart failure (24 spouses, four children, one sibling and one neighbour).