Man in hospital bedFor the first time carers have been included in the NHS Operating Framework. This change follows the National Carers' Strategy which gave the NHS £150m to provide emergency and planned respite breaks for carers.

The Framework hopes to increase the quality of life for carers of people with dementia, along with improving information for carers as well as patients. These changes are expected to ensure carers are not excluded and ignored, and are better prepared to care for their loved ones.

Carole Cochrane, Chief Executive at The Princess Royal Trust for Carers, welcomes the changes:

"We are delighted that after much campaigning from ourselves and other carers' groups, services for carers has been included in the NHS Operating Framework's list of priorities.

"We hope this inclusion will signal a shift in NHS culture so that carers are treated as real partners in care, and not just people who have to pick up the mantle after a discharge."