A retired solicitor whose private surgery was axed when she asked to only receive intimate care from female medics claims the delay could have killed her.
Teresa Steele was booked in for an abdominal op at The Princess Grace in London last October.
Ms Steele had requested access to single-sex facilities during her admission and said she would not discuss pronouns.
However, a transgender nurse entered her private examination room, a move Ms Steele now feels was intentional due to her gender-critical beliefs.
In the ensuing row, Ms Steele’s surgery was cancelled and she went on to develop an abscess, a painful pooling of pus, which meant subsequent care had to be postponed.
The Princess Grace Hospital, where Teresa Steele’s surgery was cancelled after she requested she only be treated by female medics
She told The Telegraph the delay to the op, which was only completed in February, could have killed her, adding: ‘There was a sudden and observable deterioration in my health.
‘They endangered my life by cancelling that operation. I could have died of sepsis.’
Ms Steele’s original operation was cancelled following the row over the trans nurse entering her room.
She complained to the hospital’s management shortly after the incident and asked for same-sex care from that point onward.
Ms Steele also requested that any male, or trans woman, would only enter her room via prior agreement.
As a result, she claims the hospital, managed by private healthcare provider HCA, cancelled her operation.
In an email informing Ms Steele of this, hospital management wrote they did not share her beliefs and could not adhere to her request.
This sparked outrage from women’s rights activists and the hospital eventually offered to carry out Ms Steele’s original operation.
However, in the weeks from her original scheduled operation date, Ms Steele developed the abscess meaning it could not go ahead.
She claims she has suffered long term health problems from the delay but has added she will not pursue legal action if HCA agrees to change its policy and guarantee same-sex care.
Ms Steele claims the issue isn’t just about her, with other women telling her about similar experiences in private healthcare.
‘It is particularly distressing to hear from disabled women, including a young woman who is paralysed and has been forced by a private agency to accept intimate care from men under threat of her care being withdrawn,’ she said.
Ms Steele believes that forcing women to accept intimate care from biological males, including trans women, is a breach of their human rights.
HCA management have conceded that Ms Steele’s privacy and dignity were breached when the trans nurse entered her room.
However, they maintain this was unintentional as the nurse in question did not have access to her patient notes.
They also claim that the original decision to cancel her surgery was due to being unable to guarantee same-sex care on short notice.
A spokeswoman for The Princess Grace Hospital said: ‘The privacy and dignity of our patients is incredibly important, and we are in the final stages of reviewing our policy on this.
‘We have invited Ms Steele, alongside others, to provide their views and insights to help inform these updates.
‘We remain committed to always accommodating patient requests where we safely can do so.
‘In rare circumstances, we may need to cancel or postpone a procedure to give us more time to ensure we can meet these requests.
‘We would always do this prioritising patient safety and the urgency of their care and look to reschedule this as soon as we have been able to fully discuss their individual needs.’
HCA works with the NHS, and next year will open a £100million private hospital in partnership with the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust.