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Podcast: The Clinically Extremely Vulnerable People Service

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Data, Digital, Data and Technology, GDS team, Podcast

Government Digital Service podcast with Vanessa, Kate & Nick.

The Clinically Extremely Vulnerable People Service - or “VPS” - was set up as part of the government’s response to coronavirus to provide support for clinically extremely vulnerable people who were advised to stay at home in England, otherwise known as “shielding”.

Between 23 March to 30 July 2020, the VPS facilitated more than 4.2 million deliveries of essential supplies (including food and medicine), enabled citizens to access support for basic health and care needs while shielding, and provided priority supermarket deliveries.

In this month’s episode of the GDS Podcast, we talk to some of the teams behind the impressive cross-government collaboration between the Government Digital Service (GDS), NHS Digital, Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).

Listen to hear insider perspectives from:

  • Sally Benson, Service Delivery at DWP
  • Martin Woolhead, Acting Deputy Director for Food for the Vulnerable at Defra
  • Kate Nicholls, Patient Contact & Data Team / Shielding Directorate at MHCLG
  • Nick Tait, Service Owner / Shielded Vulnerable People Service at GDS

You can subscribe to the GDS podcast on Apple Music, Spotify and all other major podcast platforms. You can read a transcript of the podcast on Podbean.

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  1. Comment by Rajitha Ratnam posted on

    I can't listen to this on Spotify - I get a "can't find this podcast" error when I use the link in this post or when I search for the GDS podcast and click on it in Spotify.

    • Replies to Rajitha Ratnam>

      Comment by Louise Harris posted on

      Hi Rajitha,

      Thanks for getting in touch to let us know. The podcast is available on Spotify if you're using the mobile app, but you're right - it's not appearing on the desktop version. We're looking into this! In the meantime, hopefully you're able to enjoy the podcast over on Podbean

      Best wishes,

  2. Comment by Daisy Ward posted on


    I really love this podcast series and I'm interested in producing something with a similar format for my department (MoJ). Is there a contact for someone I could speak to about this?


    • Replies to Daisy Ward>

      Comment by Louise Harris posted on

      Hi Daisy,

      Thanks for getting in touch - we're so glad you enjoy our podcast. If you drop us a line on we can arrange a time to chat. We're also working on a guide to podcasting that we hope to be able to share with people soon too - so stay tuned!


      • Replies to Louise Harris>

        Comment by Daisy posted on

        Thanks Louise,

        I tried to email this morning but I got an error message that I do not have permission to email the group. Is there another way I could get in contact?

        My email is


        • Replies to Daisy>

          Comment by Louise Harris posted on

          Hi Daisy,

          Sorry about that - will drop you a line directly and we can chat!

          Best wishes,

          • Replies to Louise Harris>

            Comment by Sam McLaren posted on

            Hi Louise,

            At Dorset Council we have a Digital Podcast and I was wondering if we could have a chat to talk about what you have learnt and how we can collaborate. We have a great audience in Dorset but I am looking to push that further.

            I have tried the email and have same error

          • Replies to Sam McLaren>

            Comment by The GDS Team posted on

            Hi Sam,

            Thanks for your comment - Louise will be getting in touch with you shortly.

            The GDS Team