Two Bucks hospitals could be the first in the UK to have world class MRI scanners installed by 2020 thanks to a new £1.5 million fundraising appeal.

The Bucks MRI Appeal was officially launched on March 6 by healthcare charity Scannappeal in a bid to raise cash for two of the high-tech machines, which will go to Wycombe and Stoke Mandeville hospitals.

If the appeal is successful, the hospitals will be the first in the UK to have the state-of-the-art scanners, which will be used for stroke, cardiac, brain, breast and spine patients.

With 22,000 MRI scans carried out at Wycombe and Stoke Mandeville hospitals last year, and demand growing by an estimated 13 per cent annually, the launch of the appeal will “future proof” services for Bucks by increasing scanning capacity and capabilities.

And the appeal has got off to a flying start, with a general donation of £150,000 from a local family, who wish to remain anonymous.

Andrew Wainwright, head of imaging/chief radiographer for Bucks Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “We are thrilled to be working with Scannappeal to transform scanning for patients in Bucks.

“Latest MRI techniques for cancer, stroke, heart, spine and many other conditions will improve diagnosis and reduce the need for invasive procedures. Scannappeal support will help us deliver the best possible care for patients in Bucks.”

One of the new MRI machines is set to be installed at Wycombe by the end of the year.

Scannappeal chairman William Baxter CBE added: “Scannappeal have been proudly supporting and working with communities across Buckinghamshire since 1987 and this is the biggest appeal that we have run in our history.

“It is a tremendous commitment but the new Bucks MRI Appeal provides a wonderful opportunity for the local community to work with us to ensure we have the best possible equipment available at our hospitals.”