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Elaine Ricci

Clinical Lead Podiatrist, South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust 

As one of our Clinical Champions, Elaine will be combatting inequality by developing community based high risk foot services across Sunderland. This project will increase access into an established multidisciplinary diabetes foot service for house bound patients and those frailer individuals residing in care and nursing homes.

This high risk and vulnerable group require holistic care but are alienated due to infrastructure and preconceived bias. By developing and implementing a robust pathway targeting this group, whilst engaging teams and incorporating technology, this project should reduce this inequality. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that different ways of working are possible; particularly for patients who were previously unable to access traditional routes to specialist care. Ensuring that these exciting innovative methods are embedded into clinical practice is vital when addressing the changing demographics of our population. 


Elaine is a Clinical Specialist Podiatrist based at Sunderland Royal Hospital. Her day-to-day clinical work involves caring for adults with complex type 1 and type 2 diabetes, as well as leading the integrated diabetes foot team across primary and secondary settings. This role enables Elaine to evolve and implement diabetes foot guidelines, update policy and re-shape the diabetes foot services within Sunderland.  

Working in diabetes foot care for the past 20 years, Elaine has completed an MSc in wound healing and tissue repair. Her professional interests include sarcopenia in patients with diabetes foot disease, reducing health inequalities, and shared decision making.  

Elaine’s research interests are varied and she remains active in this field, participating in local, regional and nationally NIHR funded studies.  

Elaine is also the deputy chair of the Northern Region Diabetes Foot Network. A regional group that is focused on reducing regional variations in diabetes foot care by working collaboratively with all stakeholders. This group has developed several region wide clinical projects. This includes hosting annual regional education events, pathways of care and patient education amongst many other initiatives.

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