Our story

The Dipex Charity was founded in 2001 by the late Dr Ann McPherson and Dr Andrew Herxheimer. As both patients and doctors, they saw the immense value in learning from people’s health experiences.

They envisaged a vast library of first-hand accounts of health and illness. A steering group formed around Ann’s kitchen table to meet regularly and advance the project. Though internet access was not yet commonplace in UK homes, the steering group looked to the future. They decided to build a website and fill it with videos that would be freely accessible to the public.

The original website was called The Database of Individual Patient Experiences, or “DIPEx”. Now it’s called healthtalk.org, but the charity still goes by the name Dipex.

Qualitative research methods were identified as the best way to gather and analyse these health stories. More than 20 years later Dipex has worked with scores of qualitative researchers from all over the UK to transform research into resources based on thousands of people’s personal health experiences.

Those research outputs and more are now accessible through our websites healthtalk.org and socialcaretalk.org. Millions of people visit the websites each year and leave feeling better prepared, informed and less isolated. The lay resources are also used widely in professional training and teaching.