WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549

                       Report of Foreign Private Issuer

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

                                August 21, 2003

                       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

                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: 3


     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: August 21, 2003                  By:  /s/ Paul Chambers
                                            Paul Chambers
                                            Company Secretary


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

21 August 2003

                            CENTERPULSE ACCOUNTING

Smith & Nephew has been informed by Centerpulse AG that the US Securities and
Exchange Commission is conducting an informal investigation into certain
Centerpulse accounting issues. Smith & Nephew has no further details to impart
at this time.

Smith & Nephew announced recently that it does not intend to increase its
offers for Centerpulse and InCentive Capital. Under Swiss law Smith & Nephew's
offers for the two companies remain open until 27 August 2003.


Angie Craig                                   Tel: +44 (0) 20 7401 7646
Smith & Nephew

David Yates                                   Tel: +44 (0) 20 7831 3113
Financial Dynamics

United States of America

The offer for Centerpulse shares is being made in the United States only
through a prospectus/offer to exchange, which is part of a registration
statement filed with the SEC by Smith & Nephew Group. Centerpulse shareholders
who are US persons or are located in the United States are urged to read the
registration statement, including the prospectus/offer to exchange included
therein, and the other documents filed, or to be filed, with the SEC by Smith
& Nephew Group or Centerpulse relating to the Centerpulse offer, because they
contain important information about the Centerpulse offer. You may obtain a
free copy of these documents from the SEC's Web site at You may
also obtain this information from Morrow & Co., Inc., the US information agent
for the Centerpulse offer, at (800) 607-0088, or by e-mail at