The NHS has apologised to a woman who said she was "embarrassed" after a nurse who identifies as trans was assigned to carry out her cervical smear test.

The woman had requested a female NHS nurse to perform the procedure.

When the woman asked, the nurse replied: "My gender is not male. I'm a transsexual."

"[It was] weird where somebody says to you: 'My gender is not male' and you think: 'Well, what does that even mean? You are clearly a man', the woman told the Sunday Times.

"[The nurse] had an obviously male appearance . . . close-cropped hair, a male facial appearance and voice, large number of tattoos and facial stubble."

The woman declined to go ahead with the smear test but emphasised her complaint was not about the nurse's appearance or her gender status.

Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust said: "We apologised to this patient for the recording error and because the staff member accepted they didn't manage the situation appropriately or professionally; the patient needed to feel listened to.

"Trust policy for all services is to consider seriously all requests for clinicians of a particular gender; it allows patients to feel more supported; we will deny a request if we believe it to be sexually motivated or where there might be a risk to a member of staff, but we will always explain ourselves."