Palace Honour for Low Awareness Champion

The Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability (RHN) is delighted with MBE award for their consultant

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The Royal Hospital For Neuro-disability


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Helen Gill Thwaites, the consultant o the RHN on assessment of low awareness states and co-developer of SMART, has been awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honour’s list for services to healthcare.

The Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability is a national medical charity helping people who are affected by brain injury and offers an extensive range of rehabilitation and long-term care services such as SMART, a comprehensive assessment and treatment tool developed specifically for identifying awareness in vegetative state (VS) or minimally conscious state (MCS) patients.

Helen, together with Ros Munday, who has also received the MBE, began to develop SMART at the RHN in 1988. In 2003 The Royal College of Physicians guidelines recommended it as the assessment tool of choice when expert physicians are in doubt when identifying awareness in individuals being considered for withdrawal of nutrition and hydration.

Helen says “It is an honour to receive the MBE for our work with SMART. I hope this will lead to SMART and the RHN gaining a wider recognition and profile which will ultimately benefit the patients and their relatives”

Helen and Ros Munday regularly run accreditation courses to enable experienced neurological clinicians and researchers to utilise the SMART in the clinical setting at the RHN. For further information email or visit

January 3, 2011