The Hobart

Pharmacist Claire Sutton

by Stephanie Williams
Pharmacist Claire Sutton

The Pharmacy profession has been the frontline of the pandemic response and Bellerive Quay Pharmacy’s Claire Sutton has also Jaced some extra challenges in the past year.

Where did you grow up and where do you live now? I grew up on the Eastern shore and have lived in New Town for the past 20 years. I lived and worked in the UK for two years in my 20s, travelling extensively through Europe which, while being a wonderful experience, helped me appreciate Tasmania as a great place to be.

Tell us a little about your work? As a pharmacist for the past 25 years I’ve used my degree for every aspect it can provide. I’ve worked in different fields of this specialty from hospital pharmacy to 10 years as the Pharmacy Manager at Risdon Prison. Since December 2010 I’ve called Bellerive Quay Pharmacy home where I work with our fabulous team to care for the community.

You were recently challenged with the store flooding. How did you get through that time and what can customers expect from the revamped store? We opened again on 26 October after the flooding that occurred in Bellerive on 7 January, 2022. During this time I realised how much my work and interactions with our team and patients means to me. My work is much more than a job and I felt like a piece of me was missing. We will all be glad to get back to work and to catch up with all our old customers and some new ones too. Everyone can expect the same smiley faces and welcoming environment with the excellent customer service for which our business is famous.

How has the covid pandemic affected you? As a health worker Covid has produced some real challenges and tested our resilience during this tough time. Pharmacy was, and remains, the absolute frontline for patients wanting to deal with symptoms and seek advice. Anyone can go into a pharmacy and be helped anytime. All workers in pharmacy have handled massive pressures to remain accessible to our patients often working short staffed with illness affecting our teams while continuing to provide optimum care for our communities. We had to split into teams to work at the peak of the pandemic so if one person became ill, the other team could take over. We are a close team at Bellerive and being separated didn’t feel right, so we were glad once restrictions were reduced.

What do you love doing outside work? Spending time with my son Lochlan and walking with Zippy the whippet out and around Hobart. I also love hanging with my gym family at F45 Bellerive earning a coffee from Groundsman after class for a chat. Great food is a passion for me, I enjoy cooking and eating out.

Who do you admire? Anyone who is doing it tough and keeps going.

Favourite podcast or tv show? My favourite show of all time would be Offspring. It’s a bit old now so just binge watching a whole series of Bridgerton in one day will do.

Secret vice? I’m loving Elly’s Salted Caramel Bang which is caramel popcom with marshmallow set in dark chocolate.

What are you reading now? Michelle Obama’s Becoming.

What was your first job? At 15 I worked after school at Lincraft in Eastlands which taught me the importance of good customer service and how much I don’t like the Bee Gees which played on repeat on a cassette player!

What are your daily news/social media habits? I’m a sucker for Instagram but I definitely use it productively to preview my gym class for the day at F45 to see how difficult it will be.

Your favourite place in Hobart for…

Breakfast: Angie Sue’s at Lauderdale for French toast.

Lunch: River Est for a smoked trout platter or Abundance on the Quay for a great omelette.

Dinner: Cugini Pizza for take away or Rockwall for a sit down dinner.

Favourite Hobart secret? I love the walk at Knocklofty up the big hill to the top and about half way down the other side there is this cool seat cut out of a big tree. Sitting on the seat you can look out over the Derwent River and all of Hobart. A great place to contemplate whatever is on your mind.

Parting words? Be kind.

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May 2024

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