I SEE there’s talk from NHS bosses about making developers chip in toward the cost of extra hospital beds for the growing population.

Although it’s impossible to sympathise with an industry whose bosses – some of them, anyway – show a level of greed sickening enough to put a pig off its swill, developers are hardly responsible for population growth.

You have to wonder whether this sort of thing will catch on.

Perhaps it’s only a matter of time before all manner of companies are bombarded with letters from councils and other public bodies…

“Dear dog food manufacturer – we as a local authority are writing to request that you forward us several hundred thousand pounds at your earliest convenience.

“We have noticed that an anti-social minority of dog owners are in the habit of bringing their animals to our parks and other green spaces, where the beasts deposit droppings with all the heedless abandon of a bomber commander running low on fuel in thick fog far from home.

“It is clearly vital that we address this problem as soon as possible through the use of extra dog wardens and a vigorous public information campaign.

“However, we don’t intend to pay for any of those things ourselves as we might have to put the council tax up and run the risk of people not voting for us.

“In addition, demanding that irresponsible and selfish people stop being irresponsible and selfish is hardly a vote-winner, and we’re worried that people will say nasty things about us on Facebook.

“Please do not suggest that we ask Whitehall for extra money, or speak out against national politicians and officials for starving us of cash and leaving us in this unfortunate position. Some of us hope to be senior figures in our own right one day, and we don’t want reputations for rocking the boat.

“As the deposits in our parks and green spaces were once dog food, and as you are a dog food manufacturer, it is right and proper that you pay for a small army of dog wardens and some posters.

“We look forward to your co-operation in this matter, just as we look forward to the co-operation of car manufacturers in paying for our potholes to be filled in...”

Perhaps I’m being overly cynical, though.

Perhaps there’s a way of making this idea work for both sides, so the developers get a massive dose of good PR and the NHS gets the benefit of the developers’ business acumen.

After all, nobody ends up as rich as developers without being good at the old efficiency lark.

Maybe we should consider making developers pay for new beds, but in return offer them free rein over everybody and everything apart from doctors, nurses and other front line staff.

I’m no soothsayer, but I reckon the developers would soon realise that if they managed, for example, to employ contractors capable of providing basic cleanliness and food a vulture wouldn’t turn its beak up at, the grateful public would love them.

If they also managed to identify a few billion quid’s worth of cost inefficiencies, so much the better.

“So what,” we’d all say,” if these developers make so much dosh that they’ve got solid gold lavvies, use £50 notes as firelighters and use vintage champagne as drain cleaner? At least Auntie Nellie managed to get her bunions done without suffering lethal food poisoning or some infection that turned her internal organs into something resembling corned beef hash.”

The developers might even see to it that the NHS no longer had to cast about in desperation for alternative funding.