PEOPLE in Wales are more at risk of dying in poverty than any other UK nation, according to a new report.

The disturbing finding was revealed by Marie Curie, an end-of-life charity, based on research by Loughborough University.

Residents of Blaenau Gwent and Newport are some of the people most at-risk.

The new research found that 30 per cent of terminally-ill, working-age (20-64 years old) people in Wales spent their final year of life in poverty.

This is higher than the rates in England (28 per cent), Scotland and Northern Ireland (both 26 per cent).

“Thousands of people across Wales are reaching the end of their lives in poverty, unable to make the most of the time they have left because of unaffordable bills and a constant fear about making ends meet," said Natasha Wynne, policy and research manager at Marie Curie Wales.

More than 6,600 people in Wales die in poverty every year, the charity said.

The trend was most severe in Cardiff, with well over a third (36 per cent) of terminally-ill people in the capital spending their final year of life in poverty, along with 23 per cent of pensioners.

Newport and Blaenau Gwent recorded the second and third-worst figures, respectively. One in three terminally-ill people in both council areas dies in poverty.

Ms Wynne said the scale of the problem was "simply unacceptable".

“While soaring energy bills and other household costs are impacting people from all walks of life, those with terminal illnesses are among the worst affected," she added.

"They are unable to work as their health declines, and they face a number of unique and inescapable costs as a result of their illness – including paying for home adaptations and travel for medical appointments.

"In far too many cases, all of this combines to create a perfect storm of misery and financial hardship for dying people."

The charity is now calling for "concrete solutions from both Westminster and the Welsh Government - and we need them quickly.

Ms Wynne said: "We want those diagnosed with a terminal illness to have a better quality of life in the time they have left.

"It’s an appalling indictment of our society if we sit back and do nothing to address this.”

The report is the latest in a number of stark findings relating to poverty in Wales.

Last month, official figures suggested that almost 200,000 households in Wales – roughly 14 per cent – were living in fuel poverty in October 2021, with a further 153,000 households were at risk.

  • A Wales-wide version of this report was published originally by our sister title, The National Wales.