Ive only been at my new job for 4 weeks, and had to call in sick the last couple days due to my deteriorating mental health.

It was already pretty bad originally but this job has sent me over the edge and dont feel like I can cope.

I just said on the phone that I was 'unwell' and my boss seemed like she was pretty annoyed, also spoke to the receptionist this morning and she seemed like she thought I was making it up too.

What's making things even worse is that I am finding it literally impossible to get a GP appointment.

I plan to tell her that Im struggling with my mental health when we speak over the phone, and will say I need to speak to a doctor, I'm worried that she'll react negatively and not take me seriously because Im so new.

What should I do? Do I just explain my situation to my boss and hope she understands?

  • Hope you recover soon. What is the question?
    – Gertsen
    Jan 16 at 10:21
  • 1
    @Gertsen Just updated the end
    – user303096
    Jan 16 at 10:21
  • 6
    Do you have a GP that you are registered with? What exactly is your difficulty in getting an appointment, are they not picking up the phone, don't have appointments available or is it something else?
    – AnnaAG
    Jan 16 at 11:51
  • 4
    Does you GP not have a e-booking system (via the PatiertAccess ot the NHS app) ? Pretty much all GP practices have on the day appointments for acute cases, but you need to call/login at the appropriate time. Typically something like 8 am. Jan 16 at 17:47
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    Can confirm with regards to getting GP appointments in the UK. I used to ring up at 8am to get the "we're not open yet" message, then ring back 10 seconds later to find myself at "number 37 in the queue". When I'd eventually get through I was told there were none left for the day and to ring back tomorrow. A lot of people queue outside the GP from 7am - maybe that would be the best way to get an appointment?
    – user25730
    Jan 21 at 21:30

3 Answers 3


What should I do?

Talk to your boss and explain this as plainly as you did here: I am too sick to work. Explain how you struggled to get a GP appointment, and as things are as bad that you are unable to perform day to day functions, you are going right away to A&E and will wait there in the queue to be seen. Bring a book, this will be a long wait but you will be seen. Call 111 when in doubt, like they try to fob you off to go home.

From work perspective, assuming this is salaried position, you will likely be put on SSP which is not much money, but that's the process, and you will have to keep your company updated about your health status in some form, details pending between company and your doctor.

I will point out that you generally cannot be fired for being sick (with some exceptions, for example long term illness that makes it impossible for you to do your job), but I also am not going to lie that this will from their end look very suspicious and your future may be a bit rocky down the line with the company. But don't focus on this now, get the paperwork sorted (with A&E doctors as you cannot get in touch with your GP), and get well. The rest can be sorted out later.

  • Thanks, I did think of trying A&E but wasn't sure if they dealt with issues like this. I also tried 111 but they only deal with physical problems
    – user303096
    Jan 16 at 10:32
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    @PhilipKendall best 111 will do is redirect you to either another GP practice or nearby A&E. So best to just skip the middleman and head right over.
    – Aida Paul
    Jan 16 at 10:33
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    @user303096 Yeah, that won't do much. A&E will see you, may need to be a bit persistent and it will be a long wait, but they will help you. You are at state that you are unable to day to day function, this is serious.
    – Aida Paul
    Jan 16 at 10:34
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    I don't think A&E is going to be helpful here, they will probably tell them to make an appointment with your GP, A&E stands for Accident&Emergency and this isn't either really. If there's a walk-in clinic where OP lives that might be worth trying first.
    – AnnaAG
    Jan 16 at 11:56
  • @AnnaAG you got this a bit around, walk in clinic are generally staffed by nursing staff only: nhs.uk/nhs-services/urgent-and-emergency-care-services/….
    – Aida Paul
    Jan 16 at 12:06

You can't control how other people feel or act. Just do what you need to do for your health and try not to worry about other people's behaviour.

At some point, there may need to be a grown-up discussion with your employer as to whether you can continue in your role, but that can happen when you are in a better place mentally.

Good luck with your recovery.

  • "Just do what you need to do for your health and try not to worry about other people's behaviour." - the poverty of unemployment isn't usually what is needed for your health, hence the perceived importance of an employer's behaviour.
    – Steve
    Jan 17 at 18:16

If your boss is angry at you just because you have been ill for a few days, the atmosphere is rather toxic. Besides, if the work you have to do makes you feel exhausted after three weeks, it is most certainly not the kind of work you would like to do for the rest of your life.

If I were you, I would not concentrate on keeping this job. Instead, take care of your health and look for another job that suits you better.

Of course you could try and talk to your boss, but I do not think that this will be of much help. If she is so aggressive after a few days of illness, she will probably try to get rid of you as soon as possible.

Do not worry about this to much. There are a lot of jobs out there, jobs that suit you better and with friendly bosses.

  • 13
    You boss is angry because you've been ill a few days without an explanation. Jan 16 at 14:07
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    I do not know much about the situation in the UK, but in my home country, you do not have to explain illnesses to your boss. On the contrary - the boss does not have the right to ask what is wrong with you. All you need is a sick certificate from your doctor. If you have one, and your boss is angry after a few days, this is a red flag.
    – sisee
    Jan 18 at 11:07
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    yes, but the OP hasn't presented yet a sick certificate.
    – Elerium115
    Jan 18 at 11:48

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