The response summary is five brief paragraphs with a link to the full response. The main summary points are:
"The Department of Health will not be withdrawing funding for homeopathy on the NHS, nor will the licensing of homeopathic products be stopped. Decisions on the provision and funding of any treatment will remain the responsibility of the NHS locally."- this passes the buck.
"A patient who wants homeopathic treatment on the NHS should speak to his or her GP. If the GP is satisfied this would be the most appropriate and effective treatment then, subject to any local commissioning policies, he or she can refer them to a practitioner or one of the NHS homeopathic hospitals."- I'm not sure how a GP can consider any kind of homeopathic treatment to be the most appropriate treatment under any circumstance. It certainly isn't effective.
"In deciding whether homeopathy is appropriate for a patient, the treating clinician would be expected to take into account safety, clinical and cost-effectiveness as well as the availability of suitably qualified and regulated practitioners. The Department of Health would not intervene in such decisions."- safety's always an interesting one. Because homeopathic treatments contain no medicine there's virtually no danger of interactions with any other (real or pretend) medicine but safety isn't determined only by the presence of an active ingredient of course. Clinical and cost-effectiveness would seem to be quite meaningless terms to apply to homeopathy; I assume the Government is having a small joke here.
The joking continues with a link to the full report which, at time of writing, turns out to be a 1998 report on antimicrobial resistance... "Government response to the House of Lords Select Committee on Science & Technology report: Resistance to antibiotics and other antimicrobial agents"
From initially being a bit disappointed by this response I cheered up once I realised that what the Government had done was write a document that is vaguely supportive of homeopathy but then hidden it at the "bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of the Leopard.'"
Good work Government!
Maybe they were trying to link to this, but that was published in July 2010... While I was looking for that I also found this from 2003 in which the Department of Health encourages doctors practising homeopathy to register with the Faculty of Homeopathy.