The NHS has been urged to take immediate action as thousands of patients are denied a “miracle treatment” that pulls them back from “near death”, a charity has warned.

The Stroke Association said more than 47,000 patients will miss out on the treatment on the NHS over the next seven years unless NHS England and the Government take immediate action.

What is the ‘miracle treatment’ for stroke patients?

Mechanical thrombectomy involves using a stent to manually remove large stroke-causing blood clots from the brain via a catheter inserted into the patient’s groin.

The procedure can cut hospital stays by several months and some patients have been able to leave hospital the next day, rather than spending months in rehabilitation units.

According to the Stroke Association, thrombectomy is one of the most effective procedures ever discovered for stroke and is suitable for around 10% of all patients. There are more than 75,000 strokes in England every year.

In its new report, the charity said there is an urgent need to have a 24/7 thrombectomy service so that all patients can benefit.

It predicts this would save £73 million per year owing to the reduced costs of looking after people with stroke in the long term.

The charity also highlighted an “unacceptable postcode lottery” in care, with almost 8% of stroke patients receiving thrombectomy in London, compared with just 0% to 3% in other parts of the country.

Just a quarter (25%) of thrombectomy centres operate 24/7 services, while 42% are only open from Monday to Friday during office hours, the report added.

Thrombectomy can be performed up to 24 hours after a stroke, but it is most effective in the first six hours.

Lack of understanding in government and NHS 'putting lives at risk'

Juliet Bouverie, chief executive of the Stroke Association, said: “Thrombectomy is a miracle treatment that pulls patients back from near-death and alleviates the worst effects of stroke.

“It’s shocking that so many patients are missing out and being saddled with unnecessary disability.

“Plus, the lack of understanding from Government, the NHS and local health leaders about the brain-saving potential of thrombectomy is putting lives at risk.

“There are hard-working clinicians across the stroke pathway facing an uphill struggle to provide this treatment and it’s time they got the support they need to make this happen. It really is simple.”