MORE than 100 people die in poverty in Barrow every year, according to estimates published for the first time.

End-of-life charity Marie Curie said it was "shocking" that more than 90,000 people across the UK pass away while living in poverty annually and called for urgent action from the Government.

And the findings could be underestimated as research by Loughborough University on behalf of the charity analysed data from before both the coronavirus pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis.

The estimates suggest that 132 people in Barrow died in 2019 having experienced poverty in the last year of their life – around 18% of the total number of deaths in the area.

They were among 14,565 annual deaths in poverty across the North West, and almost 93,000 throughout the whole of the UK.

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

Of the 132 deaths in poverty in Barrow in 2019, 105 are estimated to be pensioners (17% of the group), and 27 working age (24%).

Marie Curie is 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.

Matthew Reed, chief executive of the charity, 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.