AN open day will be held at Essex County Hospital on Saturday to celebrate almost 200 years of health care on the Lexden Road site.

The Colchester hospital will be open between 11am and 3pm when the attractions will include guided tours that will take in some of the buildings not usually open to the public or staff.

There will also be displays and a chance for people to record their memories of the hospital, which opened in 1820.

Like Colchester General Hospital, it is owned by Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust.

For the past year, the trust has been working to transfer services from Essex County Hospital into the community or to Colchester General Hospital, two miles away.

This process is due to be completed in the autumn of 2016 when the Essex County Hospital site will be sold.

The open day is being organised by a group which includes trust staff, former staff of Essex County Hospital, Essex University and the Colchester branch of the NHS Retirement Fellowship.

People who attend the open day are being asked to access the hospital via the entrance to the old nurses home in Oxford Road.