AN SNP MSP with a connective tissue disorder has called for accessibility measures to be improved for ministers after she revealed some of her “basic needs” were never met while in Government.

Emma Roddick – who was minister for equalities, migration and refugees under Humza Yousaf – suffers from Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a connective tissue disorder that causes very flexible joints and fragile skin.

She told The National how occupational health measures that were put in place for her as a backbencher did not follow her as a minister, and revealed some practical supports she needed to have to be comfortable in her job were still not in place when she left her role last week.

Roddick – who represents the Highlands and Islands – said a suitable chair for her in the ministerial tower had only been in place for three months before she left the role, while an equivalent chair in the Chamber was never sorted out and she subsequently struggled with pain.

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The MSP added she consistently had problems with ministerial cars – normally Teslas – which she found difficult to get out of and often subsequently had to make her own way to events.

She revealed she was still having to have meetings just weeks ago about measures which needed to be put in place.

Reflecting on her time as a minister, Roddick told The National: “When I first moved into the ministerial tower the occupational health stuff I had as a backbencher didn’t follow me, so I felt like I was having to start again from an accessibility point of view and it takes so long, longer than bringing forward legislation to get disability adjustments put in place.

“It was three weeks ago I had a meeting talking about the things that were still to be implemented. So I was a minister for over a year and still struggling with basic accessibility needs.”

Asked to detail some of the specific problems she faced, Roddick went on: “I really struggle with the chairs in the chamber. We got a chair that works for me about three months ago in the tower and the idea was once we had that it would be replicated in the chamber and we didn’t ever get there.

“I really struggle with some of the government cars as well so I had to have specific ones. Most of them are Teslas and they are really low down so if it’s more than a 10-minute journey, I struggle to get back out.

“I had to use the Kias and very often that would not be possible so I would have to drive myself or get a train.”

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Roddick – who is the youngest MSP aged 26 - said she was working on bringing forward proposals to improve the situation and has been speaking to colleagues in the SNP about ensuring people are better supported when they are elected.

“I think it’s about who has been a minister before more than anything because I know for a fact that the Scottish Government with its staff is excellent,” she added.

“I know that private office and officials have had incredible adjustments made, the number of disabled people in Scottish Government staff is great but I don’t think they knew what to do with me. It shouldn’t have been this hard.”

Kaukab Stewart has replaced Roddick as equalities minister. The migration and refugees portfolio is no longer present in any minister’s specified title.  

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: "The Scottish Government is committed to creating an accessible workplace for all users. This includes responding to the needs of Ministers and the Scottish Government will consider any issues raised."