Getting a sick note for Total Thyroidectomy - Thyroid UK

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Getting a sick note for Total Thyroidectomy

RhubarbAndCustard profile image

I'm in for surgery for a Total Thyroidectomy on Wednesday 19th December and I know I can self certify a week off work which is what I have done. The problem I have is between Xmas and New Year my work shuts for those 3 days but they are taken as holidays, we all have to save 3 days out of our holiday allowance for this. So I've been asked to provide a sick note for those 3 days, can I get one in advance? They are insisting that I provide one 😐

9 Replies

If it were me, I would ring the GP surgery and get a telephone appointment with the GP to discuss.

If they can't provide a sick note then could you provide your employer with a copy of your hospital apt letter? Hopefully the GP can provide a written statement if not a sick note. You should then be able to get a sick note from the hospital on discharge which would then mean your employer would give your 3 days of holiday back to you.

Can you not take a little longer than a week off work? If you could take 3 weeks off it would better.

As I understand it the hospital should write you a fit note. The advice seems to be that you’ll need 1-2 weeks off so I wouldn’t be in a rush to self certify. Plus you may well be entitled to have those 3 days annual leave back - legally entitled, I mean.

Here’s just one example of post discharge advice - this one from Southampton General Hospital:

By all means ask at the GP’s but I think you’ll find you’re told the hospital doctors should do it. There is often a fee for fit notes written before they need to be, which seems really unfair on you.

Edited to add - in fact, if you are ever forced to get a sick note in the period you can self certify your employer should cover any fees.

But I think your employer is asking the impossible here. Fit notes don’t get written weeks in advance.

How long have you worked for your employer?

When I had my thyroidectomy the hospital gave me a sick note for 2 weeks for my work and told me to go back to the doctor to get it extended.

I don’t think you’d get one in advance in case the operation was cancelled for any reason. When I had my gall bladder removed the operation was cancelled 6 times!

You can submit questions, or during office hours can do a live chat, on Fit to Work, at the Advice Hub here:

In the "Statement of Fitness for Work - A guide for hospital doctors:

"Form Med 10 should continue to be issued to cover any period that a patient is in hospital. On discharge from hospital the doctor who has clinical responsibility for the patient should provide them, if appropriate, with a Med 3 to cover a forward period. This is to avoid unnecessary referrals to GPs solely for the purpose of sickness certification................ Examples where hospital doctors should consider issuing a Med 3: When discharging a patient from hospital, as well as issuing a Form Med 10 to cover the in-patient period, doctors should consider if the health condition will affect the patient’s fitness for work for a forward period.

This was reinforced in the GP's new contract of 2017 which made it mandatory for hospitals to write fit notes for patients that were admitted by hospital staff, discharged or attended an outpatient clinic.

Jazzw profile image
Jazzw in reply to MaisieGray

Great link Maisie - not seen that before. And following the link, I searched on surgery and got to this page

At the bottom, it recommends that employers seeking advice on recovery times goes to the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) website - there’s another link. And then different surgeries are listed. Clicking on “thyroidectomy” confirmed that the RCS would seem to recommend 2 weeks off work.

MaisieGray profile image
MaisieGray in reply to Jazzw

That's a good find too Jazzw :-)

You shouldn't have to take annual leave over Xmas as a sick note would cover you straight after your self certificate of sickness. Your GP should be able to provide a sick note a few days in advance.

The hospital asked me when I had mine out if I needed a note. Luckily I wasn’t working at the time so said no.

Just ask them when they come do preop chat.

All the best.

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