Photo is courtesy of Queen's Nursing Institute (QNI)









Since 1948 efforts to improve the health of the population have been focussed on prevention, protection and improvement.

The early years of the NHS saw a renewed focus on preventing and treating diseases through immunisation and antibiotics.

Through the decades there have been significant improvements in our understanding of lifestyle and disease, with the identification of risk factors such as smoking, lack of physical activity, heavy use of alcohol and poor diet.

This increased knowledge has led to targeted efforts through advice and support about lifestyle improvement.

The population has also been encouraged to think about and support their own health with a focus on healthy eating and exercise for all ages.

Economic and social factors affecting health continue to have a significant effect, with a wide range of local and national work under way to address and mitigate the causes of health inequalities.

Key dates:

  • 1954 – A Medical Research Council study shows the link between smoking and lung cancer
  • 1980 – Black Report is published highlighting a growing gap between rich and poor in Britain, despite all the investment in the welfare state and the NHS
  • 2005 – Smoking ban preventing lighting up of cigarettes in Scotland’s bars, clubs, restaurants and enclosed public spaces.
  • 2018 – Alcohol minim pricing introduced to reduce consumption and harm


NHS Fife 70 - Health & Wellbeing


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