WHAT IS CONSUMER REPRESENTATION?
A consumer representative is someone who uses a particular type of service and can draw from their experience to speak for fellow service users.
The major role of a consumer representative is to bring a consumer perspective to decision-making and work with others to help fix problems. This is done by:
presenting and advocating for the consumer’s point of view
coming up with alternatives or compromises so consumer needs can be met
contributing to the overall direction of the service/s.
Consumer reps are the voice of their peers. They are not there to represent themselves, but everyone who uses a particular service whether it's a rehab, needle and syringe program or a health clinic.
It's important that consumer reps stay in touch with service users and that they are supported by a relevant consumer organisation such as NUAA.
Consumer representation is all about the principle of “nothing about us without us”. Consumer input is proven to help build better services and the value that our lived experience brings is better recognised every day.
Want to get involved with your service as a consumer representative?
1. Attend NUAA’s Consumer Academy and learn all about how to be a great consumer rep.
2. Look out around the services you use for posters or flyers advertising for consumer reps.
3. Ask staff if your service has a consumer group.
· If they do, ask how you can get involved. For help with your application, call NUAA on 02 8354 7300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
· If they don’t, suggest that they start one! Writing a letter to the most senior manager of the service is the most effective way to make this suggestion. NUAA can support you and help you with your letter.