The UK's biggest independent hospital group has also hired Burson-Marsteller senior associate Ben Taptiklis as senior press officer - its first in-house PRO. Nuffield operates 43 hospitals in England and one in Scotland.
CDR's initial brief is to audit perceptions of the group among patients, staff, GPs, Primary Care Trusts and strategic health authorities. The results will form the basis of future campaigns.
The independent healthcare market is going through a period of fundamental change as the Government offers patients the option to skip waiting lists and be treated outside the NHS, funded by the state.
'Increasingly, patients will come from the NHS as the market opens up,' said CDR director Mark Schmid.
As well as a media relations campaign, CDR will manage comms with medical bodies such as the British Medical Association and the Royal College of General Practitioners.