The report of the public inquiry into the serious failings at Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust has been delayed until January, the chairman of the inquiry has confirmed.
Robert Francis QC said that the final report will be delivered to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt in early January.
The report was previously due to be handed in on October 15.
Mr Francis said: "The Inquiry has heard a huge amount of evidence from many witnesses and organisations, and has gathered information from a number of seminars and visits.
"In addition, I need to complete a number of formal processes, to ensure any conclusions and recommendations I produce are fair and constructive. Pulling this together into the final report is a complex and sensitive process.
"In order to ensure thorough consideration of these matters, I have written to the Secretary of State for Health to inform him that I now plan to complete my work in time to deliver my report to him by early January 2013."
The £11 million inquiry, which was commissioned in 2010, is examining what went wrong at the trust between January 2005 and March 2009.
In 2009, a highly critical report by the Healthcare Commission revealed a catalogue of failings at the trust and said appalling standards put patients at risk.
Between 400 and 1,200 more people died than would have been expected in a three-year period from 2005 to 2008, the commission said.
In February 2010, an independent inquiry into events at the trust found it had "routinely neglected patients".