The Scottish Executive has unveiled a plan designed to support people who care for relatives in their own homes.
The ten-year plan will provide training for carers who look after disabled, elderly or sick relatives from home as well as a special health programme for carers and particular support for the nation's estimated 115,000 young carers.
The proposals are in response to the Care 21 report which canvassed the views of 5,000 of the estimated 660,000 unpaid carers in Scotland.
Deputy health minister, Lewis Macdonald, commented: "The importance of unpaid care is likely to grow and we are committed to working with carers as partners in providing care.
"We have highlighted four immediate areas that we will take action on now - young carers, carer breaks, carer training and carer health."
The executive said that despite its decision not to propose a right for carers to have breaks, it would closely monitor the situation.
It claimed that mandatory respite for carers would currently put too much of a strain on local authority services.