A rehabilitation unit which helps people to recover from serious brain injuries has celebrated its 25th anniversary.

The Regional Hyper-acute Rehabilitation Unit is one of a handful of Northwick Park Hospital’s specialist departments and April marked its 25th year.

The 24 bed unit has helped over 2000 patients since it opened in 1993 with staff travelling worldwide to deliver care.

The unit is also recognised as a “centre of excellence”.

The unit’s two longest serving staff, professor Lynne Turner-Stokes, and head of therapies Hilary Rose have been there since the beginning.

Hilary said: “We take people with a range of neurological conditions from strokes to serious road accidents helping them regain basic skills we all take for granted like speech, movement, swallowing and eating.

“Our job is to help those with significant impairments to recover as much as possible, to maximise their abilities and improve their quality of life.”

Economics student and rehab unit beneficiary, Ben Spires was 18 when a stroke cut short his education.

Ben said: “I felt like someone flicked a switch in my head. One second I was fine, the next it was like someone had driven a nail through my head. Everything was a blur after that.”

After going to Queen’s Hospital’s stroke unit for four life-saving procedures, Ben needed rehabilitation at Northwick Park. 

Ben said it was “frustrating”, but in a matter of weeks he moved from a wheelchair to a walking frame. Ben said: “They had me going down to the shop and buying stuff as part of my therapy.”

Northwick staff say Ben’s positive attitude aided his recovery and he was later allowed home on weekends. 

He added: “The team were always there for me and my psychologist really helped me come to terms with what had happened and focus on moving forward.”

London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust is one of the largest healthcare trusts in the country, providing services to Harrow, Brent and Ealing.