Skip to content

State Indemnity Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to a range of common questions from State authorities about State Indemnity, the General Indemnity Scheme and the Clinical Indemnity Scheme.

The following are specifically excluded in legislation:

  • claims involving a question as to the validity of any law having regard to the provisions of the Constitution
  • claims made in respect of infection, directly or indirectly, with Hepatitis C or the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), or both, through the administration of blood or blood products or in respect of related matters
  • claims for personal injury liability for defective products (unless specifically delegated to the State Claims Agency), injurious falsehood, malicious prosecution, malicious abuse of the civil process, deceit, or defamation
  • claim by an employee of the State or of the Government caused by a breach of the Employment Equality Act 1998
  • a claim in respect of an alleged assault upon the claimant by a member of the Garda Síochána or a prison officer, or a claim under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme

The General Indemnity Scheme indemnifies a State authority, its servants and/or agents in respect of a negligent act or omission. Servants and/or agents are persons who perform tasks on behalf of the State authority. This includes all employees, persons on a contract of service and those on approved placements/work experience.

We have published a series of State Indemnity Guidance documents which set out the scope of cover provided by the General Indemnity Scheme for certain types of activities. These are also available in our State Authority Learning and Events hub. Please email if further advice is required.

A State authority vehicle, for the purposes of State Indemnity, is a vehicle which is registered in the name of the State authority or is in the State authority’s custody and control.

State indemnity applies in respect of any claims for personal injury (including those to passengers, service users, the public and employees) and third-party property damage associated with authorised use of the State vehicles on approved business. This is similar to commercial third-party cover.

The following are covered when employed by the HSE, a voluntary hospital or other voluntary health and social care organisations to which the Clinical Indemnity Scheme applies:

  • Non-consultant hospital doctors, nurses, midwives and other clinical staff employed by health agencies covered by the Scheme, whether permanent, locum or temporary. Consultants are covered with effect from 1 February 2004 in respect of alleged clinical negligence incidents on or after that date
  • The clinical activities of public health doctors, nurses, midwives and other community-based clinical staff
  • Dentists providing public practice
  • Services provided by other health professionals in the performance of their duties, including pharmacists, paramedics, ambulance personnel, and laboratory technicians

The Clinical Indemnity Scheme does not cover private hospitals. The Scheme does cover claims against private healthcare facilities and clinicians that provided facilities and additional professional medical services resources to the public health system in the management of COVID-19 cases and the delivery of acute hospital care more generally during the pandemic.

The State Claims Agency does not provide legal representation at disciplinary proceedings or before professional regulatory bodies. Nor do we provide representation for agencies or individual practitioners at inquiries.

The State Claims Agency provides legal representation at Coroner’s Inquests for agencies and individual practitioners where this is requested.

Yes. The Clinical Indemnity Scheme covers personal injury claims against staff employed by agencies, covered by the Scheme, who provide care or treatment in emergencies within the island of Ireland. Good Samaritan Acts outside the island of Ireland are not covered.

The above cover does not extend to informal non-emergency diagnosis, treatment or prescribing for families, friends, colleagues, or sporting clubs other than in the context of a formal attendance for treatment at an agency covered by the Scheme.

The Clinical Indemnity Scheme covers ethics, drugs and therapeutic committees etc, where there is a risk that decisions taken by such groups, or guidance issued by them, could be considered to have resulted in an injury to a patient.

The Clinical Indemnity Scheme covers claims from patients whose treatment was part of a clinical trial or other approved research project. Detailed guidance is available here.

Have you got a moment?

Share your feedback on your experience of using our website by answering two quick questions.