The South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust has called in McCann PR and MCE Public Relations to advise on external comms and public affairs. The two agencies were appointed following the submission of a joint tender. Fees are believed to be in the region of £30,000.
A focus for the agencies will be the ongoing rationalisation of healthcare services in Northern Ireland.
MCE managing director Paul McErlean, who will lead on public affairs, said: 'The reform of health services in Northern Ireland is an ongoing process. There is a carve-up ongoing in the health trusts and that creates a challenge. The rationalisation of services is always going to be a big challenge for comms.'
The South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust incorporates acute hospital services, community health and social services and is now one of the two largest of the new Northern Ireland Health Trusts.
The trust has responsibility for just over a third of the entire population of Northern Ireland.
It was established in April 2007 as part of the Review of Public Administration, the most significant reform of public services in Northern Ireland for over 30 years, which created five amalgamated health trusts.