Document Type : Commentary
University of Sussex Business School, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK
The trend in ensuring adequate consumer representation across diverse activities and sectors, not least in healthcare, has been speedily implemented, sometimes at the expense of strategy. This commentary explores the concept of the consucrat as a consumer representative, presented by de Leeuw, which raised important questions regarding the way in which individuals and health services interact and collaborate. Adopting a complex services marketing lens, the position of the consucrat is discussed in relation to agency underpinning three tensions identified by de Leeuw: designation; professionalization, and; representation. For equality, professional service providers are referred to as ‘profecrats.’ Supporting de Leeuw, challenges are made to the underlying assumptions implicit in terms used around representation, the perspective that it is the consucrat only who needs to adapt, and the discourse around the competence of the consucrat. We should not be too cautious in our approach to consumer representation. Consucrats have agency – what next for the profecrat?