I propose to take Questions Nos. 591 to 593, inclusive, together.
The Public Health Nursing service within the HSE generally consists of a Director of Public Health Nursing, Assistant Directors of Public Health Nursing, Public Health Nurses and Registered General Nurses/Midwives. A small percentage of specialist posts are filled by Clinical Nurse Specialists and Advanced Nurse Practitioners. The Public Health Nurse is responsible for the delivery of the public health nursing service for specific geographic areas. The scope and range of public health nursing services are aligned to the health service demand that emerges from the population demographics and epidemiology. This demand varies depending on the complexity of health service requirements in geographic areas such as deprivation, cohort of frail older adults, extent of child health interventions, prevalence of chronic diseases etc. A specific ratio of PHNs per population has not been set nationally. I have asked the Health Service Executive to reply directly to the Deputy in relation to the specific questions about the number of training places in 2012 and 2013.