The plans come as they strengthen their team to meet the challenges of a new joint research project with a university.

The hospice has joined forces with the University of the West of Scotland (UWS) in a two-year project looking at ways to improve every aspect of the ‘patient journey’ by working with staff, patients and their families.

The partnership with UWS was launched by actress and patron Emilia Fox.

Now hospice chief executive Anne Milla is searching for five new members of personnel, two of them in senior management positions, to further its ‘Together We Care’ policy.

Mrs Mills said: “We want the best environment for patients, volunteers and staff.

“Therefore, we are planning a new purpose-built hospice in Greenock.” A new head of people and transformation is being hired on a salary of between £35,000 and £45,000 to provide a comprehensive human relations service.

A head of development and communication will be paid between £35,000 and £40,000 to ‘lead the strategy and policy on fundraising, retail and communications’.

The other new advertised posts are a trusts, grants and legacy co-ordinator (up to £25,000) and two £21,000 to £23,000 jobs for an events co-ordinator and an executive assistant.

Mrs Mills said there are opportunities to expand through new legislation which allows people to have more control of selecting care providers and how their allocated budget may be spent.

She said: “It provides the hospice with potentially new opportunities to support people with life-limiting conditions at an earlier stage in their illness.

“Our reputation for providing compassionate care, which can add years to life, has attracted interest from people who have not considered hospice care before. It is our duty to the people who donate to us, and to our commissioners, to show what difference we can make on both an individual and population basis.

“That is why we are now a university teaching hospice, working with our partners at UWS to measure and demonstrate continuous improvements in health and wellbeing through the work that we do.” It costs the hospice £8,500 a day to run its services, including the community nursing service, across the district.

Mrs Mills said: “Our main commissioning partners, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, provide us with around 40 per cent of our total £3.3 million operational costs.

“The 60 per cent balance, together with money from trusts and foundations, is by way of the most incredible generosity from the people of Inverclyde.

“Without them, we could never afford to deliver the services to our community.”