A trans woman from Southend says she is considering legal action after her local health trust refused to pay for her breast augmentation.

Miranda Lee, 40, began living as a woman two years ago and had her genital surgery and other treatments on the NHS last year.

But she says she has been left “half-man and half-woman” by South East Essex Primary Care Trust.

Ms Lee told the Echo: “I was born with a female brain, have suffered constant abuse throughout my life, and was even married.

“In my determination to become a woman, I’ve lost almost everything. My brother and sister don’t want to know me, employers don’t want to know, and now the health trust has left me half-man and half-woman.”

Ms Lee added that she had suffered violence, lost jobs and been forced to move home three times because she is a trans woman.

Her treatment is estimated to have cost up to £60,000 until now and a breast augmentation is expected to cost £8,000.

Ms Lee has applied for legal aid to fight her case.

A spokeswoman for South East Essex Primary Care Trust said that breast augmentations would only be paid for by the trust for women suffering from breast cancer.

She said: “[The health trust] has to target resources on priority health care needs, by having clear policies based on the most effective interventions.

“The policy states all applications for breast augmentation will only be performed for reconstructive purposes following malignancy, and will not be carried out for small but normal breasts or for breast tissue involution.”