Private healthcare provider Nuffield Hospitals has appointed Harrison Cowley on a six-figure brief to manage its reputation.
The three-year account was awarded after a four-way pitch including incumbent Fishburn Hedges.
The brief will be managed by HC associate director Amanda Powell-Smith, who heads a 16-strong team.
'Nuffield is made up of individual hospitals which have their own managers, own issues but are part of a whole. We will be meeting with those in charge at all sites, listening to them and seeing how we can help,' said Powell-Smith.
The account will be run from HC's London office, but it will use all eight offices in the agency's UK network to provide on-the-ground crisis and issues management support.
The agency has sub-contracted AS Biss to provide government relations and day-to-day monitoring of government activity within the health sector.
According to Powell-Smith, AS Biss was involved in the final stage of the pitch process.
Biss MD Jeremy Sweeney leads that side of the account, reporting to Powell-Smith. She reports to Nuffield head of corporate communications Michael Keep.
He said: 'We need to co-ordinate issues management policy on two levels, providing specific support for local hospitals as well as reputation management at a corporate level.'
Nuffield Hospitals claims to be the UK's largest not-for-profit independent private healthcare provider. Since starting in 1957, it has grown to 43 hospitals. It has 6,200 staff looking after an estimated 780,000 patients a year.