Hospitalisation is designed to protect patients from harm; however, patients have been reported to take their own lives during hospital admissions. While a significant healthcare concern, few studies have analysed inpatient suicides in general and psychiatric hospital units. Understanding these deaths is important for informing future prevention initiatives. Here we investigate a national sample (n = 367) of inpatient suicides in general (24%, n = 87) and psychiatric (76%, n = 278) hospital units. Patient characteristics, suicide location, timing, and suicide methods were assessed and compared. Patients who died from suicide were mostly male and admitted into psychiatric units. General hospital patients were less likely to have a known history of mental illness or previous self-harm and were often admitted for mental illness-related presentations. Suicides frequently occurred outside of the hospital by hanging. Patients in psychiatric units were more likely to be on approved leave at their death, and general patients were more likely to have absconded. These results indicate the need to identify risk factors relevant to each setting and address broader system-level factors. Removing obvious ligature points, preventing absconding, and assessing patients before episodes of leave, could contribute to preventing inpatient suicides.