Sir Ian Kennedy has been invited by Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust to chair an independent review into the management of concerns regarding breast care services at Solihull Hospital.

More than 700 patients who were treated at the hospital are now being urgently referred to specialists for new examinations. The consultant surgeon, Ian Paterson, is at the heart of the review after carrying out the treatments. He is accused of carrying out unnecessary breast operations.

The review will start today and will look at how health chiefs managed complaints as well as how the Trust responded to staff and patient concerns.

It was very important to us to make sure, first of all, that all of the patients concerned were seen and had their care reviewed and this is what we have been focusing on over the past 12 months. Now that this is completed we have, as promised, asked an experienced independent chair to look at the actions this organisation took, to see if there are lessons to be learned about how to raise concerns into clinical practice and how to take appropriate action.

Sir Ian Kennedy will make recommendations to the Trust's Board on completion of the evidence-gathering process. This report is expected to be completed in the summer of this year.

I am delighted to take up this commission and I am keen to talk to patients and staff as part of the evidence-gathering process. I urge anyone who would like to talk to me about their specific experience to come forward.

The Medical Defence Union, which is representing the surgeon, said it could not comment because of patient confidentiality.