Recent reports show that continuing problems are being experienced by the returned hostages and their families. The Department of Health advised at the time of the hostages return that, apart from those who needed immediate emergency treatment, the initial point of referral ought to be the persons general practitioner. General practitioners in many cases now employ their own staff who are able to offer support and counselling. In some cases the general practitioner may, however, decide that the most appropriate response is referral to the psychiatric service. All local psychiatric services should be able to respond to the needs of people suffering continuing stress as a result of traumatic experience.