We’ve used this position to influence a number of key pieces of legislation affecting carers in England, working to ensure they reflect carers' needs and concerns.
In 2014 the Westminster government introduced two new pieces of legislation aimed at supporting carers in England: the Care Act and the Children and Families Act 2014.
We were heavily involved in influencing this new law, working to ensure that when it was introduced it worked for carers.
Carers Trust in England launched a review of the Care Act to look at what difference it has made to unpaid carers one year on.
We worked with former care minister Paul Burstow who chaired a commission receiving evidence from carers and carers organisations to hear their views on how well they thought the act is working – what had worked well and what still needed to be improved.
Carers Trust in England campaigned for young carers to have stronger rights and for there to be more support for their family. We worked with young carers, The Carers Trust Network, MPs and other charities in the National Young Carers Coalition to get the law changed.
We were successful and as a result young carers in England have stronger rights to get support for them and their families from the local council.
This became law as part of the Children and Families Act 2014 and it means councils have to use a 'whole-family approach'. We celebrated this achievement with a group of young carers and MPs.
Young carers can read about what their rights are in our guide Know Your Rights: Support for Young Carers and Young Adult Carers in England.
The Better Care Fund is a major project aimed at dramatically improving the coordination between health and social care services in Englnd.
It seeks to achieve this by pooling together £5.3bn of local health and social care spending into one budget – encouraging local decision-makers to think more strategically about they can manage these two types of services so that they work together.
Because carers often come into contact with local services, we've been heavily involved in trying to influence the introduction of the new Fund.
Our priority throughout has been to ensure that when the Fund is put in place, improving the support available to carers is a priority.
To help achieve that goal we have conducted our own research into the plans developed by local authorities for how they will spend the money allocated to them under the Fund.
Our report has raised some serious concerns: just one in four of the plans we analysed contained details on how the new Fund will be used to provide support specifically for carers.
As a result, we're going to be working with the government and local authorities to make certain that carers are at the heart of all future Better Care Fund plans.
Read our full report: Better Care Fund: Better Care for Carers? (PDF, 747KB)