The developments made in 20th-century mental health care in Britain would seem to indicate a progressive move to treat all equally and restore citizenship to those suffering from mental disorders; yet on closer inspection, psychiatric hospitals continued to remain underfunded compared to other parts of the National Health Service. Matters worsened as psychiatric deinstitutionalisation gathered pace, fuelling reluctance to invest in resources which were now earmarked for closure. The author argues that deinstitutionalisation failed to provide service users with the same socioeconomic opportunities as everyone else, as psychiatric services remained underfunded and disconnected from social services. While the discourse around deinstitutionalisation promised social inclusion, government failure to assign the necessary resources or leadership to shift care delivery to community-based settings in practice pauperised and excluded many service users in Britain.