Police have charged a 39 year old man with arson and intent to endanger life after a fire was deliberately started at a major Midlands hospital.

The fire on 7 June led to the evacuation of patients from the Royal Stoke University Hospital site. Patients had to lie in their beds or on mattresses outside the main hospital building.

Staffordshire Police confirmed it has charged Thomas Ashcroft of Musgrave Crescent, Sheffield, with two counts of committing arson with intent to endanger life.

He was arrested in Manchester last week after the fire at University Hospitals of North Midlands Trust and another fire at Staffordshire University.

Mr Ashcroft appeared at North Staffordshire Justice Centre on Saturday. No pleas were entered and magistrates adjourned the case to Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court on 3 July. He was remanded in custody.

The fire started at the hospital’s main building around 6pm last Wednesday. Patients had to be temporarily evacuated. At around 4.45pm, a fire started in the toilets in the Beacon Building on Staffordshire University’s College Road campus.

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service extinguished the blazes and after an investigation determined they were deliberately started.

Detective Inspector Phil Bryan said he wanted to reassure the community the incidents were not terrorism related.