COVID-19 (coronavirus) update.

We have implemented a number of restrictions to minimise the spread of COVID-19 at the RHN.

Read about the measures we are taking to keep our patients and residents protected.


The Sensory Modality Assessment and Rehabilitation Technique (SMART) is an award-winning clinical tool, pioneered by Helen Gill-Thwaites MBE at the RHN, Ros Munday MBE and Dr Karen Elliott

It’s used for the assessment and rehabilitation of people with  prolonged  disorders of consciousness following severe brain injury. Its precision has made it one of the assessment tools of choice as recommended in the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) national clinical guidelines (2020).


  • Identifies potential awareness in adults with severe brain damage who are in a vegetative state and identifies the functional and communication capabilities of patients in a minimally-conscious state.
  • Is the only tool currently available that provides an extensive range of sensory techniques and includes family and carers observations
  • Is built on evidence-based practice, and enables  the patient to have the opportunity to demonstrate meaningful responses and, potentially any evidence of awareness.
  • Consists of ten sessions carried out over a one to  three week period and is generally followed by a treatment phase in the following eight weeks.
  • Can only be used by an accredited assessor who adheres to the SMART standards of practice.

SMART full version April 2020

SMART training

The SMART accreditation process has been developed to ensure competency in the application of SMART and comprehensive knowledge and skills working with the PDOC patient to meet the specification outlined in the RCP guidelines (2020).

Who can apply for the five-day training course?

  • occupational therapists
  • speech and language therapists
  • physiotherapists
  • clinical psychologists
  • nurses
  • physicians
  • clinical researchers

Please check our events section for upcoming training dates.

If you need further details on the SMART assessment tool, training courses and kits, please contact:

Anna Harlow
Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability
West Hill
London, SW15 3SW
Tel: 020 8780 4500 ext 5140
Fax: 020 8780 4569