Cumbria's out-of-hours doctor service is celebrating after being named regional champion in the NHS70 Parliamentary Awards.

The competition asked MPs to put forward their local health heroes to mark the 70th birthday of the NHS.

Cumbria Health on Call (CHoC) was chosen from hundreds of applicants to win the Excellence in Primary Care category.

Its entry will now go forward to the national finals, which will be presented at a special ceremony in the Palace of Westminster on July 4 - the day before the anniversary of the health service being formed.

Launched in February, the awards asked MPs to nominate those individuals or teams they felt had made the biggest improvements to health services in their constituencies across 10 categories.

Cumbria Health on Call was nominated by five Cumbrian MPs - Carlisle's John Stevenson, Workington's Sue Hayman, Copeland's Trudy Harrison, South lakes' Tim Farron MP, and Penrith's Rory Stewart.

From more than 750 entries, senior industry experts have now chosen four outstanding nominations in each category

CHoC runs out-of-hours GP services for the whole of Cumbria, from Carlisle to Barrow and Eden across to the west coast.

The organisation also runs some in-hours primary care services, supporting the wider NHS to help ease pressure on other services, such as A&E, and ensure people get the right treatment in the fastest possible time.

It recently became the first out-of-hours service in the country to be rated as 'outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission.

Susan Blakemore, chief executive of CHoC, said: ‘We are delighted to have been chosen as the north regional champion in the Excellence in Primary Care category.

"This nomination is recognition of the dedication and diligence of the whole CHoC team, who work tirelessly to provide outstanding care to the people of Cumbria.

"The NHS70 Parliamentary Awards are a fantastic opportunity to recognise some of the incredible work which goes on across the whole of the NHS system, and to be named as the north regional champion in this category is a great honour. We offer our best wishes to the other nominees."

Copeland MP Trudy Harrison, said: “I know that everyone in Copeland will share my delight and pride that the fantastic team that makes up Cumbria Heath on Call has been named regional champion.

“They are representing the hundreds of staff and volunteers who work day in, day out across our area to shape, deliver and support health and care services, and we’ll all be backing them to win."

All of the finalists are invited to attend the national awards ceremony, which will be hosted by TV doctor Dr Sara Kayat.

The final stage of judging will be carried out by a panel including the leaders of Royal Colleges, the Unison trade union, and the Patients Association – collectively representing millions of health and care workers and patients.

Dr Mike Prentice, NHS England's regional medical director, said: “Picking champions from the dozens of high quality nominations we received from local MPs was incredibly difficult, so all of those going forward to the national ceremony should be extremely proud of their achievement.”

Dr Vincent Connolly, NHS Improvement's regional medical director, said: “I was impressed by the high standard of all the entries we received in the north, the ones we put forward are really the best of the best. I’m sure everyone will be rooting for our regional champions when the national winners are decided.”