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"Poor treatment for drained abscess"

About: Albany Health Campus

(as a parent/guardian),

My adult child who has Crohn’s disease was admitted to the Health Campus for an abscess which resulted from their disease.

It took three days for the drain to be put in to drain the abscess, they were fasted three times in those three days in the event they would put the drain in. Eventually, as I understand it, the nurses had to go in to bat for my child to undertake the procedure as it kept getting delayed, especially when the surgeons started to say we might have to leave this until a certain day, and it had been going on for five days.

When my child's partner asked questions of the surgeons, I understand they were made to feel like it was a joke to the surgeons.

During this whole time there was minimal contact with my child's gastroenterologist in Perth.

Finally when released with a drain which we were told we’d have to flush and change (found out they gave us the wrong drain bags and we were not meant to remove the bag after we got home) as we live out of Albany we had to do it ourselves to go to a hospital to get it done as the person to do this does not travel outside of Albany.

When the drain was to be removed the appointment was changed three times and it meant another long trip to town to get more supplies to continue the flushing of the drain.

Eventually, the drain was removed and my child was told they would need an operation but at this point, there was no discussion by the surgeon about going to see their specialist in Perth. With drain removed and no knowledge if the abscess had cleared my child was released, with no antibiotics as follow up, and told that they would operate on them.

My child then contacted their specialist in Perth as they decided that the local hospital did not have what they felt was their best interest in mind. My child informed the local surgeon that maybe they should see their gastroenterologist and was told that’s a good idea?

When they saw their specialist nearly three weeks following their release from Albany, no information had been forwarded to the specialist who had requested that all information be sent to them, all the specialist had was my child's release papers.

My child has now undertaken an 8-hour operation for his condition. At a private hospital, they drained another 100ml of pus from the abscess and had two sections of their large bowel removed and a section of their small, all being done by a specialist in this area with the aim of the best possible outcome.

My child will also remain on IV antibiotics for a considerable amount of time as they have become resistant to what they were given.

I fear that what I feel was, the arrogance of the surgeons in Albany with not immediately sending my child to their specialist in Perth and seemingly deciding that they can deal with what was happening, could have had a far worse outcome than what has happened, as they did not seem concerned that what they proposed could have, I believe, affected my child for the rest of their life.

In my opinion, the knowledge of Crohn's Disease within the hospital is very poor. One doctor who was seeing my child I asked a question of and they said they didn’t know anything about the disease. The food my child was given was something that you do not feed people with this disease as they need to have a white low fibre diet, not one that has lentil patties in wholemeal bread.

I have requested that when my child eventually gets home and sees their GP, that they have put on their records that if anything else should arise in regards to their Crohn's, that they be sent straight to their specialist in Perth and never to Albany Hospital as I fear that they are unable to treat Crohn's as it should be addressed.

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Response from Mary Boyd Turner, Director Medical Services, WACHS GS 2 months ago
Mary Boyd Turner
Director Medical Services,
Submitted on 18/11/2021 at 5:44 PM
Published on Care Opinion at 5:46 PM

Dear pepperfd96,

I am very sorry that your adult child has had this experience of delayed surgery, poor coordination of care, poor discharge planning and onward referrals with the surgical team on the Albany Health Campus. I also note that you have concerns about the timeliness of referring your child to their Perth Specialist Surgeon and our surgeons’ knowledge and understanding of Crohn’s disease and your feeling that they dealt with your family in an arrogant manner.

This is not how we want our patients and their families to feel when they are in our care. Our intention is always to offer compassionate, evidence-based, high-quality and safe care. I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to better understand your child's situation and provide a considered response to the issues you have raised. I would also like to encourage your child and family to present to Albany Health Campus should they require emergency care.

You can contact me via the campus switchboard on 9892 2222 or you can email me at so that we can arrange a meeting to discuss this issue. I look forward to the opportunity to discuss this with you face to face and I hope that your child continues to improve.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Mary Boyd Turner

Director of Medical Services

Albany Health Campus

WA Country Health Service Great Southern

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