Recovery approaches to healthcare now feature in the mental health policies and plans of many western countries. However, the operationalisation of these approaches has met with numerous challenges. This paper considers the reasons why, from the point of view of spousal or family carers of people with chronic and severe mental illness. Method: A single-case embedded study was used to analyse the process and outcomes of the implementation of Recovery-oriented services into a public health service organisation located in a major urban centre in south-eastern Australia. The unit of analysis considered in this paper is the experience of carers with the Recovery-oriented services. Findings: Seven of the ten carers who were interviewed had not heard of Recovery or the implementation of Recovery-oriented services. Nine out of the ten carers had noticed no recent improvements in the way services were delivered.