Psychiatric Day Hospital
for Children and their Families
35 Black Prince Road, Kennington SE1 6JJ
Medical dates:

Medical character:
1918 -1990

Specialist.  Later, mental

The Babies' Hostel opened as a day nursery shortly after the end of WW1 in 1918 in a building which had once been the Maxillo-Facial Hospital.

In 1922 wards were opened so that infants with feeding problems and dietary deficiencies could receive long-term treatment. The name of the Hostel was changed to the Dietetic Hospital for Sick Babies and Mothers; a Training School for Nursery Nurses was also established.

In 1924 the lease of the building was given to St Thomas' Hospital by Mrs E. Mitchison, in memory of her son, Lt Anthony Mitchison.  The Hospital was then renamed the St Thomas's Cornwall Babies' Hostel (since the house stood on land owned by the Duchy of Cornwall).  It was renamed again in 1927, as the St Thomas's Babies' Hospital, and became affiliated to the Association of Nursery Training Colleges.

The Hostel treated infants up to the age of 3 years, with medical direction from St Thomas' Hospital.  The main diagnoses were malnutrition, dyspepsia and prematurity.  Once discharged, the child would attend periodically as an out-patient.  In 1930 a new Out-Patient Department was established, where mothers could also be examined.  In 1931 some 33 mothers and 97 children were treated as in-patients (22 of the admissions were for the re-establishment of breast feeding).  There were nearly 500 out-patient attendances.  

At the outbreak of WW2, in 1939, the Hostel was evacuated to the Manor House, Crickdale, in Wiltshire until 1942, when it moved to Greys, at Puttenham Corner, Hog's Back, near Guildford, Surrey, until 1946.

In 1962 the Hostel began to treat disturbed children under the age of 5 years, together with their parents, for three days a week.  In 1965 this work became full-time and it was renamed the Psychiatric Day Hospital for Children and their Families.

It closed in 1990.

Present status (February 2008)

The building is now used by the Lambeth Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) for children with mental health difficulties and their parents.
23 Black Prince Road  Building from the north
No. 35 Black Prince Road from across the street (left) and from the north (right).  

Broad Street and Prince's Road were renamed Black Prince Road in 1939 (Edward III (1312-1377) had given his son Edward the Black Prince (1330-1376) the manor of Vauxhall and Kennington).

35 Black Prince Road
The building is now also called William Geoffrey House.

main door
The main door bears new titles either side.  No. 35 is mentioned three times.
(Author unstated) 1931 St Thomas' Babies' Hostel.  British Medical Journal 2 (3690), 26 Sept, 584-585.

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