- This inquiry concludes that care and support for older and disabled people could collapse unless the Government allocates at least £700 million extra to social services each year. It shows that Britain's estimated one million care and support workers exist on low pay, with poor training, inadequate support from their managers and too little time to care. The report warns that without urgent improvements, care and support services could face a recruitment and retention crisis as bad as the NHS's current problems in nursing and medicine. Among the major findings of the inquiry are: a 'damaging preoccupation' among commissioning bodies with containing costs rather than promoting quality in care services; a workforce of which two-thirds does not hold a relevant qualification and whose average pay rate is around five pounds per hour; high levels of staff turnover, which are likely only to get worse as the workforce gets older and competition in the labour market becomes stiffer; and inadequate education and training for care and support workers, both before qualification and during their working lives. The report makes 15 key recommendations for immediate action to tackle the problems that the inquiry uncovered and avert a future crisis in care and support services. They include: increasing the cash allocations that social services have been promised by the Treasury, to match the rate of increase in funding pledged for the NHS; a fundamental review of the National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) in care work along with action to ensure that existing care and support workers get access to the training they need; and changes to the Government's proposed regulatory system for care workers, to include all staff immediately and not just qualified workers.