WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549

                       Report of Foreign Private Issuer

                       Pursuant to Rule 13a-16 or 15d-16
                       of the Securities Exchange Act of

                               January 27, 2004

                       Commission File Number 001-14978

                              SMITH & NEPHEW plc
                              (Registrant's name)

                                15 Adam Street
                           London, England WC2N 6LA
             (Address of registrant's principal executive offices)

         [Indicate by check mark whether the registrant files or will file
annual reports under cover Form 20-F or Form 40-F.]

                           Form 20-F  X                  Form 40-F
                                      ---                          ---

[Indicate by check mark if the registrant is submitting the Form 6-K in paper
as permitted by Regulation S-T Rule 101(b)(1).]

                           Yes                           No   X
                                ---                          ---

[Indicate by check mark if the registrant is submitting the Form 6-K in paper
as permitted by Regulation S-T Rule 101(b)(7).]

                           Yes                           No   X
                                ---                          ---

         [Indicate by check mark whether by furnishing the information
contained in this Form, the registrant is also thereby furnishing information
to the Commission pursuant to Rule 12g3-2 (b) under the Securities Exchange
Act of 1934.]

                           Yes                           No   X
                                ---                          ---

         If "Yes" is marked, indicate below the file number assigned to the
registrant in connection with Rule 12g3-2(b): 82- n/a.

                                                               Total Pages: 4


         Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934,
the registrant has duly caused this report to be signed on its behalf by the
undersigned thereunto duly authorized.

                                              Smith & Nephew plc

Date: January 27, 2004                        By:  /s/ Paul Chambers
                                                   Paul Chambers
                                                   Company Secretary


Smith & Nephew plc      T 44 (0) 207 401 7476                   [LOGO OMITTED] We are smith & nephew
15 Adam Street          F 44 (0) 207 960 2350
London WC2N 6LA


23 January 2004

London, England and Andover, Massachusetts, January 23, 2004 - Smith & Nephew
plc (LSE:SN, NYSE:SNN) today announced that its Advanced Wound Management
business has acquired the VERSAJET surgical debridement product from
HydroCision Inc to add to its growing range of advanced wound bed preparation

VERSAJET is a specialised fluid jet instrument enabling surgeons to easily
remove damaged tissue and contaminants from surgical, traumatic and chronic
wounds in a precise and safe manner. Approved for use in the United States,
Canada and the European Union, VERSAJET was launched in 2003.

Smith & Nephew will acquire the VERSAJET product line for $5m, with additional
consideration payable upon reaching future development and sales milestones.
Smith & Nephew expects 2004 sales of the product to reach $2-3m.

"VERSAJET is an outstanding new technology that enables the clinician to
remove contamination and dead or decaying tissue when preparing wounds for
closure or healing," said Jim Dick, President of the Advanced Wound Management
business of Smith & Nephew. "VERSAJET is easy to use and will strengthen our
position in the rapidly growing wound bed preparation market."

Doug Daniels, President and CEO of HydroCision, added: "We are pleased that
Smith & Nephew has recognised the potential value of the fluid jet technology
in the field of wound care. As a leader in the advanced wound management
field, Smith & Nephew is well positioned to use the fluid jet technology to
help improve patient outcomes worldwide."

About Smith & Nephew

Smith & Nephew ( is one of the world's leading medical
device companies, specialising in Orthopaedics, Endoscopy and Advanced Wound
Management products. Smith & Nephew ranks as the global leader in advanced
wound management and arthroscopy products and is the fastest growing full-line
orthopaedics company in the world.

Smith & Nephew's Advanced Wound Management business provides the leading range
of treatments for difficult to heal wounds. It develops innovative new
solutions to heal chronic and acute wounds, delivering


                                          [LOGO OMITTED] We are smith & nephew

excellent and cost effective outcomes. The company has the world's leading
advanced wound management sales force and provides clinicians with a full
range of education programmes.

About HydroCision Inc.

Andover, Massachusetts, based HydroCision is the leading developer,
manufacturer and marketer of fluid jet-based surgical tools that are the
foundation of a new surgical modality - `hydrosurgery.' Hydrosurgery improves
patient care by selectively removing tissue, minimizing collateral damage and
bleeding and promoting the healing process. More information on the company is
available at


Smith & Nephew
Healthcare Media
Jim Dick                                        +44 148 222 5181(UK)
Smith & Nephew Wound Management

Smith & Nephew
Financial Media and Investors
Angie Craig                                     +44 20 7401 7646(UK)
Smith & Nephew Corporate Affairs Director        +1 212 850 5756(US)

HydroCision Inc
Doug Daniels                                     +1 978 474 9300(US)
President and CEO