The government has announced £255m in funding which will be used to improve the lives of Britain's growing army of carers.
The money is in addition to the £224m given each year to local authorities through the Carers Grant, £340m to support the families of disabled children over the next three years, and £2.7m a year to fund a new information helpline and website for carers.
The new 10-year plan will see £150m invested in short breaks and will allocate £38m of new funding to help carers stay on at work. GPs will also receive extra training to recognise the role carers play and the effects on their physical and emotional health, and annual health checks will be piloted.
A further £6m has been set aside for young people who care for sick parents and relatives in an effort to prevent them taking on an "inappropriate" level of responsibility.
"In a society where an increasing number of us are caring for aging parents or sick and disabled relatives, it is right that we recognise carers are at the heart of 21st century families and communities," said health minister Ivan Lewis.