‘From the castle to the cottage’: Queen's Nurses and health inequalities in Scotland, c. 1955–1975

Alexandria Kerr Flucker, Janet Greenlees

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This paper examines how the Queen’s Nurses sought to provide nursing care to Scotland’s poor immediately after the development of the National Health Service (NHS) in the 1940s. The Queen’s Nurses were the district nurses of the Queen’s Nursing Institute Scotland (QNIS) which was established in 1909 as an offshoot of the Queen Victoria Jubilee Institute for Nurses, itself founded in 1889 to educate nurses to care for the sick poor in their own homes. From the outset, the ethos of the QNIS was to tackle health inequalities in Scotland by providing nursing care for those people unable to pay. The NHS incorporated the Queen’s district nurses into its framework and they became local health authority employees, forming part of community-based health services.60 This paper utilises oral histories of Scottish Queen’s district nurses to try and understand their working responsibilities and relationships within a variety of community settings. It also analyses how these helped the nurses address health inequalities, both formally and informally.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCaring for the Poor in Twentieth-Century Scotland
Subtitle of host publicationReport of a Queen’s Nursing Institute Scotland/Glasgow Caledonian University workshop held in Glasgow, 11–12 September 2014
EditorsJanet Greenlees
Place of PublicationEdinburgh
PublisherThe Queen's Nursing Institute Scotland
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9780953826827
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • history of medicine
  • Queen’s Nurses
  • National Health Service
  • health inequalities


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