Could we create a new part-time organization to support essential services when they are stressed, using retired personnel to work part time?
In education, retired teachers could be assigned individual pupils for support in their studies which could be via Skype, Zoom or other on-line medium or even ‘learning stix’ which I have suggested elsewhere.
In the health services, retired doctors and nurses could provide support on non-essential health issues (varicose veins and piles spring to mind) via either the local surgery or 111. Retired paramedics and nurses could back-up the ambulance service by dealing with low priority calls.
In the area of crime prevention, retired officers could be retained as special constables to back up permanent staff when services are under stress.
Overall, this would be controlled by a new organization called The Retained Reserve or ‘RR’. They would have a register of volunteers which would be made available to the main service providers to call upon. Each ‘volunteer’ would opt for an area of expertise and state the number of hours that they would work each week. They would be provided with a tax-free, nominal annual payment and something for each hour worked – again tax-free.
Not only would this take some pressure off essential services, it would provide meaningful occupation in times of great stress.