Hundreds of people die in poverty in Pembrokeshire every year, according to figures published for the first time this month, and an end of life charity warns it will get worse.

The research suggests that around 19 percent of those who died in Pembrokeshire in 2019 experienced poverty in the last year of their lives.

End-of-life charity Marie Curie said it was ‘shocking’ that more than 90,000 people across the UK die in poverty annually and called for urgent action from the UK government.

Researchers warned that the findings could be an underestimate as the data analysed was from before both the coronavirus pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis.

In Wales 287 out of 6,660 deaths in poverty were in Pembrokeshire. The total figure for the UK was almost 93,000.

Of the 287 deaths in poverty in Pembrokeshire, 235 are estimated to be pensioners and 53 working age.

Pembrokeshire was above the national average for deaths that occurred in poverty (15 per cent) and for the proportion of working age people who die in poverty (28 percent).

Juliet Stone, from the Centre for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University, said: "The number of people dying in poverty has almost certainly risen even further since the period covered by our research and will only get higher in the coming months as the cost of living crisis deepens.”

They found that around three-quarters of the people who died experiencing poverty were of pension age, around 25,000 were of working age.

The research suggests women and people from minority ethnic groups are particularly vulnerable to poverty at the end of life.

Matthew Reed, chief executive of Marie Curie, said: "No one wants to imagine spending the last months of their life shivering in a cold home, struggling to feed themselves, their children, and burdened with the anxiety of falling into debt.

"But for 90,000 people a year that is their reality.

"We are staggered to see the scale of poverty among dying people – it is shocking."

The charity is also calling for urgent action to give terminally ill people of working age access to their State Pension, and warned the benefits system is failing to keep working-age people out of poverty at the end of their lives. It is also calling for greater support with energy costs to be made available to all terminally ill people and for more support with the costs of childcare for terminally ill parents with young children.

The Department of Work and Pensions said those nearing the end of their lives can get fast-track access to a range of benefits and that policies announced in the Queen's Speech mean more people at the end of life will be able to access some benefits earlier.

He added that the government was taking decisive action to ease pressures on the cost of living.