The Independent Reconfiguration Panel is to review a controversial reconfiguration of upper gastro-intestinal cancer services in the South West.

The Cornwall health overview and scrutiny committee has referred the transfer of services from the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust to the Derriford site of Plymouth Hospitals Trust.

The change, which had originally been planned for 2007, was implemented last month, the panel said in a statement.

Former Royal Cornwall chief executive John Watkinson – who was sacked last year – has said he plans to take the trust to an employment tribunal. He claimed his dismissal was linked to his questioning of commissioners’ decision not to hold a public consultation on the changes.

However, the trust said he was removed because an independent report “raised serious concerns” about his management.

IRP chair Peter Barrett said in a statement: “We will be gathering evidence locally to ensure that the recommendations we make are in the best interests of local people.

“Each review we undertake is unique and it is therefore important that we listen to all sides of the debate to inform our review.”