The Babies Hospital, Newcastle had its origins in a day nursery opened by Miss Greta Rowell, for mothers working in local munitions factories during the First World War. Known as the West End Day Nursery, it was based at 33 West Parade off Westmoreland Road.
By 1923 there was a shift of emphasis from Day Nursery to Babies Nursing or Mothercraft Training Centre dealing in the main with babies with feeding problems.
In 1924 Dr Spence, the Nursery's Honorary Consulting Physician, recommended closing the Nursery to daily children and to increase the number of beds for in-patients and in 1925 its name was changed to Babies Hospital and Mothercraft Centre.
During the Second World War, the hospital, with the exception of out-patients moved to Blagdon Hall, Northumberland. In 1943 Dr Spence became the first professor of paediatrics in England and this led to the removal of the out-patients department at West Parade to the children's clinic at the Royal Victoria Infirmary. In 1944 the Babies Hospital was formally amalgamated with the Royal Victoria Infirmary and on 18 May 1948 the hospital at Leazes Terrace was opened. By 1971 paediatric surgical services in Newcastle had shifted to the Fleming Memorial Children's Hospital and in 1973 the official policy was to run down the Babies Hospital. It is now closed.