Minister for Health Leo Varadkar has said that talks resumed between the various parties involved in the planned move of the National Maternity Hospital to St Vincent's University Hospital campus.

Mr Varadkar wrote to the chairperson of St Vincent's last month urging him to engage fully with the Health Service Executive and Holles Street to resolve any outstanding issues.

Today Minister Varadkar said that the maternity hospitals are being relocated to the campus of adult hospitals to improve patient safety.

He said it would reduce the risks that arise from having to transfer a woman and separate her from her baby when something goes wrong.

Minister Varadkar said he was strongly encouraging St Vincent's and the National Maternity Hospital to continue working together to ensure that a planning application can be lodged this year.

It had emerged yesterday that St Vincent's wrote to the minister saying that the current plan to move the National Maternity Hospital to the St Vincent's campus "carries a risk of compromising our patient care".

The hospital said it had sought answers to questions about the plan for several months.

The National Maternity Hospital is due to move to the St Vincent's Hospital campus in 2018.

St Vincent's said it can shorten the time required for the project, if key issues are dealt with.

It wants more control over the project, given the potential impact on its existing campus activity.

The hospital says its key concerns are: that existing patient care is in no way affected by the project, that shared services are handled in the best interests of campus efficiency and that its future development plans are not compromised.