Birmingham has been left without a fully functioning patient and public involvement network after its “two key decision making groups” were temporarily suspended.

Gateway Family Services, which runs the local involvement network on behalf of Birmingham City Council, said in a letter it was suspending the “core” group and the administrative and finance group.

The reason was the “high level of complaints within the last month, both from LINk core group members, LINk members and councillors which pertain to the lack of a governance framework”.

It said the dangers included “decisions being made without sufficient governing documents”,  “financial decisions being made without a suitable framework of accountability” and “codes of conduct, procedures and current protocols [being] unenforceable”.

The government is proposing LINks are replaced with groups called HealthWatch.

Paul Tovey, vice chair of a LINk sub group that has continued its work, said he hoped Birmingham would secure funding to develop a pilot HealthWatch group.

A Birmingham City Council spokeswoman said: “A small part of the LINk has been temporarily suspended by the host organisation whilst they formally adopt some key procedures.

“The rest of the LINk continues to operate as normal.”